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The Co-operative Bank launches its biggest ever poll on values and ethics

12 June 2014

The Co-operative Bank today launches a major poll to understand customers’ and colleagues’ views on values and ethics. The results of the poll will be used to renew and refresh the content of the Bank’s ground-breaking Ethical Policy and define the Bank’s wider values.

The poll will seek views on the five pillars of the Bank’s current ethical framework (human rights, international development, animal welfare, economic and social development in Britain and environment) but will also gauge opinion around three new areas which the Bank believes are important for the future: responsible banking, transparency, and treating customers fairly.

In 1992, The Co-operative Bank became the first bank in the UK to have an Ethical Policy. Since then it has been reviewed four times, hearing from over 250,000 of its customers. After the last review, the Bank introduced nine new statements reflecting the changes in customers’ views. Since the policy was launched £1.2bn of lending has been turned down because it did not meet the requirements of the Ethical Policy.

In November 2013, values and ethics were written into the Bank’s constitution for the first time in its 140-year history.  A Board Committee with a new independent chairman - Laura Carstensen from the Equality and Human Rights Commission – has been created to ensure values and ethics is at the heart of the Bank.

Niall Booker, Chief Executive of The Co-operative Bank, said:

“This is an important milestone in the transformation of our Bank. We have a clear turnaround plan with a vision to create a smaller, more efficient, sustainable bank focused on serving individuals and small and medium-sized businesses, which is set apart by its commitment to values and ethics.

“The Co-op is not like other banks. Our heritage, ethos and values are different. That is why it is so important to renew and refresh our values and ethics to ensure that the next chapter of the Bank is true to its heritage and translated to today’s world.

“I want as many of our customers as possible to take part in the poll so that we can be the first bank to publically survey its customers about ethics in banking following the financial crisis.  It is essential to the future of our Bank and to helping rebuild trust in the banking sector.”

The poll will run from 12th June until 30th June.

For media enquires contact:

Blue Rubicon:

Chris Norton:   07899 795218
020 7260 2700

Safina Mirza:   07884 080201
020 7260 2700

The Co-operative Bank:

Alice Hunt:      07834 620704