05/09/11 - The new bank in town
The Co-operative Bank has embarked on a major transformation of its Britannia branches, enabling customers to open current accounts and carry out everyday banking activities* in their local branch.
Against an industry backdrop of continued bank branch closures, which has left 1,000 local communities without a local branch**, this move means there are now an additional 245 places to carry out everyday banking on Britain’s high streets. In total the Co-operative Bank now has 342 bank branches.
Providing a welcome boost for the high street, a number of these new places to bank will also help provide a vital service for local communities, where there is either only one or even no current bank in existence***.
Customers will now be able to carry out everyday activities on their accounts such as balance enquiries, paying in cash and cheques, withdrawing cash, and changing their details and account type.
To mark this change and make it easier for both new and existing customers to recognise, Britannia branches will also now adopt new signage indicating their link to The Co-operative Bank. These will be rolled out across the UK from today.
Peter Marks, Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group comments: “Supporting local communities goes to the heart of what The Co-operative stands for. At a time when other banks have been closing branches, we are offering hundreds more places for people to carry out day to day banking activities across the country. Our intention to grow our high street presence has never been stronger and we are striving to offer customers a real alternative choice in the current market.”
Derek French, from the Campaign for Community Banking Services says “We welcome this initiative especially as it will make it much easier for people to open and operate locally a current account with a bank that really is different.”
Rod Bulmer, Managing Director, Retail for The Co-operative Bank adds: “We have seen an increase of 73% in the number of new current accounts opened in the first half of this year and now have over 1.5 million current accounts. This shows that there is an appetite from consumers to switch banks and we are hoping that this move will genuinely help bring some much needed competition to the current account market.”
Additionally, from today, the Co-operative Financial Services will now be known as The Co-operative Banking Group, operating under both The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance brand names.
Notes to Editors
For further information please contact:
Catherine Laycock / Lauren Hoult / Nuala Ryan
The Co-operative Banking Group Press Office
Tel: 0161 903 3833 / 0161 903 3822 / 0161 903 3808
Email : email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
* The everyday banking services that will now be offered in Britannia branches include:
- Balance enquiry
- Paying in cash
- Paying in cheques
- Taking cash out (up to a maximum of £250)
- Debit card services (lost and stolen / reissue / PIN change and resets)
- Changing customer details (i.e. change of name / address, change from sole account to joint account or / joint account to sole account)
- Bill payments to Co-operative Visa and Britannia savings accounts (up to a maximum of £5,000)
- Transferring money into and out of The Co-operative Banking Group accounts (up a £20,000 maximum)
** Source Campaign for Community Banking, Branch Network Reduction 2011 Report - 1,000 communities throughout the UK have lost all their banks.
*** Woolstanton (Staffordshire) and Baddeley Green (Stoke-on-Trent) are location where the Britannia will be the only bank in existence, and Blythe Bridge (Staffordshire) Chadderton (Greater Manchester), Hartshill (Stoke on Trent), Longton (Staffordshire), Penistone (South Yorkshire) and Portishead (Bristol) only have one other branch in existence.
About The Co-operative Banking Group
The Co-operative Banking Group, formerly known as The Co-operative Financial Services, is the banking and insurance arm of The Co-operative Group, which is the world’s largest consumer co-operative with around six million members, over £14 billion turnover, and core business interests in financial services, food, travel, pharmacy and funeral care. The Co-operative Group has over 5,000 retail trading outlets.
Following the merger with Britannia on 1 August 2009, the organisation is one of the largest and most highly diversified mutual businesses operating in both retail and corporate markets.
As part of The Co-operative Group, the business is characterised by its unique ethical and member reward policies and very high levels of customer advocacy.
The Co-operative Banking Group has £70 billion in assets, 12,000 staff and nine million customers. It has over 300 high street branches, 20 corporate banking centres and major presences in Manchester, Leek, London, Plymouth, Skelmersdale and Stockport.
It is the only mutual organisation that enables its members to earn financial rewards for the products they hold, as well as giving them the opportunity to have a say in how the business is run.