Five things we have learned about the troubled Co-op Bank

A Co-perative Bank sign in Holborn, London Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
A Co-perative Bank sign in Holborn, London Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
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The Co-operative Bank has warned that it will remain in the red until at least 2017 as losses widened to £204.2m in the first half of the year.

Half-year losses were far higher than the £77m reported a year earlier as the bank counted the cost of moves to put it on the road to recovery, and said it would continue to see losses throughout 2015 and at least 2016.

Here are five things we have learned about the Co-op Bank:

1: The bank saw its losses nearly treble in the first six months of the year

It warned its recovery will take at least another two years. The lender said its performance remained dominated by the group’s crisis that drove it to the brink of collapse two years ago and would continue to be for “some time”.

2: A damning official report found the Co-operative Bank misled investors and kept regulators in the dark as it came close to collapse.

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) concluded there were serious failings in the way the lender was run from July 2009 to December 2013, but spared the bank a potential £120m fine after taking into account the state of its balance sheet.

3: The merger with the Britannia Building Society was a disastrous move

Much of the £1.5 billion hole uncovered in 2013 was linked to losses on commercial property loans stemming from its ill-fated merger in 2009 with the Britannia.

4: Bosses at the Co-op Bank have signalled the potential for a future merger

Bosses at the Co-op Bank are saying it had “talked to people from time to time”. In terms of a possible stock market listing, CEO Niall Mr Booker said the bank would need to have a stronger balance sheet before floating.

5: The lender is working hard to rebuild its balance sheet

it failed a Bank of England stress test last year, but the bank is determined to improve its performance, while also getting its IT systems up to scratch.

Further reading:

Co-op Bank to remain in red until at least 2017

Regulator issues public censure against Co-operative Bank

Co-op Bank losses improve to £264m

Turnaround plan progressing says Co-operative Bank