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The Co-operative Bank Signs Up To HM Treasury's Women In Finance Charter

11 July 2016

  • Aims for 40 per cent female representation in senior management roles by 2020 - an 8 per cent increase on 2016
  • The Co-op Bank was among the first banks to sign up and commit to improve gender diversity in the summer

The Co-operative Bank has today (11, October, 2016) announced its target for improving gender diversity in senior manager roles as part of its commitment to the HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter.

The Co-op Bank is aiming to meet a target of 40 per cent female representation in senior management roles by 2020, an 8 per cent increase over the next four years.

Overall, 59 per cent of the bank’s total employees are female, while 32 per cent of senior managers, including our executive team and most senior leadership positions, are female. The Bank’s Executive Management Team is 27 per cent female and two (18 per cent) of the Co-operative Bank’s Board members are female. Heather Lauder, the Bank’s Distribution Director, is the most recent addition to the executive team having been promoted this year.

As the only UK bank with a clear values and ethics policy written into the articles of association of the business, The Co-operative Bank’s Ethical Policy* continues to set out the Bank’s commitment to operating as an ethical workplace. The Bank offers a dedicated woman’s career network; Elevate, championed by the senior leadership team of the business and driven by passionate colleagues. The Bank has also committed to publishing gender pay information as part of its 2017 annual reporting process, it introduced mandatory staff training on diversity and inclusion and regularly holds awareness events for colleagues, most recently as part of National Inclusion Week last month.

To achieve its target of 40 per cent female representation in senior management roles by 2020, the Bank is making changes to the way it recruits and promotes employees; it is strengthening its performance management and reward moderation processes; and introducing coaching and mentoring schemes to encourage more women to apply for senior management roles. It will also look at more flexible ways of working and ensuring equal pay for all genders over a whole career.

Under the terms of the Charter, Steven Pickering, Chief Risk Officer, will be the Executive Committee member accountable for gender diversity and inclusion.

Steven Pickering, Chief Risk Officer, said: "As a bank defined by its distinctive values and ethics, The Co-operative Bank is delighted to commit to this target, which we think is realistic and will deliver change within our organisation. We will be putting in place clear measures to help us deliver this 2020 target and will also seek to exceed this target if possible, beyond 2020.

“The Charter helps improve opportunities and progression for women and ensuring that talent rises to the top in the finance sector regardless of gender."

The Bank has published its Women in Finance Charter commitment on its website and will update progress against target every September http://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/aboutus/ourbusiness/women-in-finance

The history of The Co-operative Bank demonstrates its strong roots supporting gender equality. The Bank was formed to support the co-operative movement and reflect the values and ethics of that cause, the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society welcomed women to join, 80 years before women were given the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

-- ENDS --

Notes to editors

*The Co-operative Bank; Values and Ethics Policy

Charter Pledge

How we will meet this pledge


Having one member of our senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion;


We have appointed Steven Pickering, Chief Risk Officer of the Bank, as our Executive Committee member accountable for gender diversity and inclusion, ensuring that it is embedded in the most senior leadership of the Bank


Setting internal targets for gender diversity in our senior management;


We are aiming for 40% female representation in senior management roles by 2020, an 8% increase on our 2016 baseline of 32%.


Publishing progress annually against these targets in reports on our website;

The Bank will publish progress on this webpage in September every year.


Having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity.


It is intended that all Senior Executives' pay includes alignment to the Bank's commitment to diversity. This will be achieved by the inclusion of diversity targets, amongst of course other targets, in the Long Term Incentive Measures, as part of our people objectives, from the 2016 award onwards. Additionally, we will be incorporating targets into individual Executive objectives from 2017 performance year.


About The Co-operative Bank

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

The Co-operative Bank is the only high street bank with a customer-led ethical policy which gives customers a say in how their money is used.  Launched in 1992, the Policy has been updated on five occasions, with new commitments added in January 2015 to cover how the Bank operates its business, products and services, workplace and culture, relationships with suppliers and other stakeholders and campaigning.

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