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Co-op Bank makes 200 redundancies as low rates bite

Co-op Bank makes 200 redundancies as low rates bite

The Co-operative Bank will make 200 roles redundant to mitigate the impact of a prolonged low interest rate environment.

In the Bank’s interim results and third quarter trading statement it said the low interest rate environment limited the ability of all banks to generate income and presented “cost challenges”.

While reducing people costs has always been a key part of its turnaround plan, the bank said the economic environment has meant it needs to cut costs further.

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Liam Coleman, the bank’s deputy chief executive, said: “Decisions such as these are never easy, but these cost reductions are critical to progressing our turnaround and delivering a cost base which supports a sustainable core bank.

“Over the coming weeks we will continue to consult with colleagues and trade unions on these proposals and our focus will be to ensure that all impacted colleagues are treated sensitively and respectfully.

“We have made progress in turning the bank around since 2013 but have always been clear that the bank’s recovery is a difficult journey.

“As we have said before, we will remain loss making in 2016 and 2017 and whilst we continue to make progress with our turnaround plan, in a challenging economic  environment, maintaining our focus on costs and delivery of initiatives are key to building a more resilient and sustainable bank.”

A large number of the proposed redundancies are management and head office roles, primarily based in Manchester and Stockport, and are focused on areas where processes can be simplified and streamlined further.

The announcement will not lead to any branch closures.

Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said: “The speed and breadth of these cuts will hit the Co-operative Bank’s much cherished customer service and with it the bank’s unique selling point.

“Compulsory redundancies are anathema to all trade unions, but the timing of this exercise just before Christmas is a real blow to our members.

“We will be supporting our members through this difficult time - and pressing the bank to reconsider these cuts where possible - which will leave loyal staff facing an uncertain Christmas and worrying new year.”