An online campaign is urging Co-operative Bank customers not to switch providers, and instead join forces to demand the bank to stick by its ethical principles.
The Save Our Bank campaign was set up in October to defend the ethical principles of the Co-op after it hit financial troubles in April, when a deal to buy 632 Lloyds branches fell through.
The recent refinancing of the bank, leaving parent company the Co-operative Group with a 30% share, has led to much speculation as to whether it can remain loyal to its customers and ethical policies whilst also serving its outside investors.
Speaking to Blue & Green Tomorrow, Save Our Bank campaigner Shaun Fensom said, “We’re trying to build as broad a campaign as possible and we’re gathering momentum. What we’re saying to people is, ‘Don’t switch yet; let’s stick together’.
“The only way to guarantee that the Co-operative remains an ethical bank is for it to be remutualised. We’re not saying how and when; it is difficult to establish how and when this should be done without the full details of the refinancing deal.”
Fensom said that campaign was gathering momentum, gaining hundreds of new supporters every day. It is being backed by Ethical Consumer magazine.
Last week, Co-op Group boss Euan Sutherland assured customers, including charities who had raised concerns about the future, that the bank was “embedding the co-operative principles in the constitution of the bank” to ensure that it would remain ethical.