The Co-operative Bank and Britannia

...merge to create a new, powerful force in financial services

1st August 2009

As you will probably know, at the beginning of 2009 The Co-operative Bank and Britannia proposed to merge. Having gained final approval from the FSA, the new business was legally formed on 1st August 2009.

The merger creates a trusted and ethical alternative to shareholder-owned banks, through the most diverse financial co-operative in the UK. The new organisation will have a robust capital position, excellent liquidity and funding underpinned by strong underlying profits.

Britannia becomes part of The Co-operative Bank and therefore a CFS business. This merger brings together Britannia’s extensive high street presence and savings and mortgage product strength, with the personal and corporate banking, insurance and fund management expertise of The Co-operative Bank, Insurance and Investments.

The new business will have:

  • more than £70 billion of assets
  • nine million customers
  • more than 12,000 employees
  • more than 300 branches
  • 20 corporate banking centres

The Co-operative Financial Services is part of The Co-operative Group. The Group is the world’s largest consumer co-operative, with an annual turnover of over £14 billion and over 4,500 UK outlets which span its core business interests in the food, financial services, pharmacy, travel and funeralcare sectors.

The business will be led by former Britannia group Chief Executive Neville Richardson, with Bob Burlton, the current CFS Non-executive Chairman, chairing the new CFS board.

Bob Burlton comments: “This merger creates an organisation with the scale, financial strength and reputation to provide a wide range of enriched ethical products to millions of UK households, and we are doing this at a time when many people are calling into question the integrity of their banks.”

Neville Richardson, Chief Executive of The Co-operative Financial Services, stated; “Trust has become a scarce commodity in other financial businesses of late and we aim to provide a genuine alternative to those disillusioned with shareholder owned banks. Ours will be an ethically-led organisation, part of a parent company which rewards members and is completely accountable to them.”

The Co-operative Financial Services will now comprise; The Co-operative Bank – including smile and the Britannia business, The Co-operative Insurance and The Co-operative Investments.

Both The Co-operative Bank and Britannia will retain their independent products and brands in the immediate future. Over the process of integration – which will take up to three years – customers will increasingly see more products and services available to them. For example, the expanded branch network is core to the new business and plans are already underway to allow customers from Britannia and The Co-operative Bank to transact in all branches in due course.

Neville Richardson concludes; “Our challenge now is to work hard to deliver the benefits we have promised, as soon as possible. From day one, we will be founded on the principles of trust and reward and provide the scale and strength to meet the expectations of consumers in today’s uncertain climate.” 

1st August 2009

You’ll have heard the news that we have merged with Britannia, creating a strong, fair and ethical alternative to other high street banks.

This brings together two of Britain’s most successful financial providers to create a business with £70 billion of assets, 9 million customers and 12,000 employees. One that combines The Co-operative Financial Services’ strong banking, insurance and investment expertise with Britannia’s extensive high street presence and savings and mortgage knowledge.

It’s an exciting development in our history, one that means in the future we can offer our customers, both existing and new, more than ever before.

If you want to find out about a Britannia product, please click on one of the links below:

Or visit the Britannia website