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Co-op Bank sheds 25,000 customers but losses narrow

The Co-operative Bank has said it lost about 25,000 current accounts during the first half of the year amid the uncertainty over its future.It also saw £400m of instant access savings cash being withdrawn in a period that saw it being put up for sale before a rescue deal was agreed.However, half-year losses narrowed to £135.2m from £177m last year.In June, the Co-operative Bank agreed a £700m rescue package to stop itself from being wound up.The bank said that the deal was progressing to plan and was “on track” to be completed by September.Trading ‘resilient’The Co-op Bank was rescued from the brink of collapse by a group of hedge funds in 2013, after bad property loans contributed to a £1.5bn hole in its finances.In February this year, the bank was put up for sale after it was unable to reach a strong enough financial footing to satisfy Bank of England regulations.However, the sale plan was dropped after its existing investors agreed to a rescue deal, which will see them swap their debt for a stake in the bank. The Co-op Group’s stake in the bank will fall from 20% to about 1%.Chief executive Liam Coleman said the completion of the restructuring would “secure the future of the Co-operative Bank as a viable stand-alone entity”.He also said that trading in the first half of the year had been “resilient”, given the backdrop of the talks over the bank’s future.Although the bank had lost current accounts, the fall was less than 2% of its total, and it still had 1.4 million current account customers.”The vast majority of customers have remained very loyal as we have progressed the sale and capital raise process and I am extremely grateful for their ongoing support,” Mr Coleman said. “Of course there is more hard work ahead, and, like other banks, we recognise there are risks to the UK economy, but this is a great bank and we are positive about the future.”
Source: BBC News

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