The Co-operative Bank Confirms Bid For Pool B Funding From RBS Fund

26 March 2019

1 min read

The Co-operative Bank today confirms that it will apply for funding from Pool B of the RBS alternative remedies package as part of its strategy to significantly grow its presence in the business banking market and drive greater competition for small business (SME) customers. 

The Bank, which is currently ranked 7th largest in the SME banking market and looks after the banking needs of around 85,000 SMEs, plans to create a banking proposition that represents a genuine alternative to the “Big 5”. Its strategy is to enhance and expand its current account and lending services for ethically minded SMEs who are looking for a different choice.  As the deadline for applications for Pool B approaches on 29 March, the investment would help the Bank accelerate its journey towards better supporting UK SMEs by enhancing its digital service and modernising its business current account proposition.

Andrew Bester, CEO at The Co-operative Bank said: “Our trusted and recognised ethical brand together with our strong heritage in the SME market gives us a real opportunity to drive deeper competition in the market. We are proud of a history of providing award-winning service to SME customers, and we have an established and loyal customer base on which to build. Investment from Pool B would accelerate our ability to make a difference to small businesses and the communities they serve across the UK. 

“We’re delighted to already be participating in the Incentivised Switching Scheme, and the early signs are that our marketing campaign in our North West heartland, and our position as a different type of challenger, are playing well for us. Having addressed the legacy issues of the past, we can now focus on executing our strategy, and pioneering a different type of SME banking as we enter the next stage of our transformation.” 

All three of the Co-operative Bank’s main business banking products are rated five stars by Moneyfacts. The Bank’s award-winning Business Directplus Current Account offers 18 months of free banking to eligible customers. 

The Co-operative Bank has a unique partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the UK’s largest membership body and voice of SMEs. In addition, in February 2016, the Co-operative Bank and Co-operatives UK partnered to form ‘The Hive’, the first co-operative development programme of its kind in the UK, which provides new business support for people wanting to start or grow co-operative or community enterprises, using a mix of online resources, training and advice. ‘The Hive’ aims to enhance the development and growth of co-operative and community enterprises, a sector that is currently worth £37bn to the UK economy.


Notes to Editors:

About the Co-operative Bank

the Co-operative Bank plc provide a full range of banking products and services to almost 5 million retail and SME (Small and Medium Sizes Enterprises) customers. The Bank is fully committed to values and ethics in line with the principles of the co-operative movement.

For further information please contact

Nicki Parry, Head of Media Relations

The Co-operative Bank Press Office

Tel: 07734 002 983


Twitter: @CooperativeBank


Head of External Communications & Sustainability

Dan Chadwick

Mobile: 07724 701319

The Co-operative Bank Press Office

Landline: 0151 271 1985

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