The Co-operative Bank becomes signatory of UN Principles for Responsible Banking

2 March 2020

2 min read

The Principles for Responsible Banking set out the banking industry’s role and responsibility in shaping a sustainable future by aligning the banking sector with the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. These principles enable a bank to embed sustainability across all its business areas, and to identity where it has the potential to make the most impact in its contributions to a sustainable world and prepare for a sustainable development economy.

The Co-operative Bank has led the way in tackling the climate crisis over the last 25 years, with its customer-led Ethical Policy making clear commitments to addressing climate change. In 2007, The Co-operative Bank became the first bank to go ‘Beyond Carbon Neutral’ and in 2015, it was the first UK bank to sign the Paris Pledge not to fund the coal industry, reinforcing its commitment to reducing the impact of global climate change.

With roots in the co-operative movement, The Co-operative Bank is the only UK high street bank with a customer led Ethical Policy. This policy has been central to its business since 1992 and has been shaped by more than 320,000 customer and colleague views. As part of this, The Co-operative Bank does not provide banking services to organisations involved in the extraction or production of fossil fuels, and a range of other activities highlighted by customers as areas of concern, for example the unsustainable harvest of natural resources and the manufacture of environmentally harmful chemicals.

Andrew Bester, Chief Executive Officer at The Co-operative Bank said;

“Committing to the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking is something we’re proud to do. The climate crisis is an issue that needs determined action and we have a long standing commitment to tackle climate change. We know this matters to our customers and therefore it matters to us. The UNEP FI principles provide a single framework for the banking industry and we will be building on our existing sustainability commitments to embed the framework within our strategy and joining the other UNEP FI members in making a positive contribution to society.”


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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