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The Co-operative Bank appoints Catherine Douglas as Managing Director, SME Banking

11 September 2020

The Co-operative Bank today announces the appointment of Catherine Douglas to the role of Managing Director, SME Banking. Joining the Bank in October 2020 and reporting to Chief Executive, Andrew Bester, Catherine’s role will be to build on the growth and momentum created within the Bank’s SME franchise as the Bank focuses on supporting its customers in the current challenging environment.

Catherine, who joins from TSB where she is currently Business Banking Director, has previously held leadership roles at Santander and Halifax, and has a proven track record in business banking and SME operations. She succeeds Donald Kerr who is leaving to take up the role of CEO at Cambridge and Counties Bank.

Revitalizing the SME banking business has been a key focus for the Bank in recent months and it was successful in securing funding from the Banking and Competition Remedies (BCR) in May 2019. Since then, it has attracted new customers, including a 16 per cent share of the incentivised switching scheme market in the first half of 2020, and SME customer deposits increased by 25 per cent over the same period.  Whilst supporting customers through the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Bank has provided CBILS and Bounce-Back loans funding to around 7,500 small businesses. The Bank’s SME banking proposition includes free banking to co-operatives, small charities and social enterprises, and is currently offering 30 months free banking to all new customers.

Co-operative Bank Chief Executive Andrew Bester said,

“We’ve made significant progress in delivering our turnaround plans for our small business banking proposition and I continue to be excited about the potential for this area of our business. SME banking is a growing part of our business and Catherine brings strong experience as we focus on accelerating our transformation plans in this area. I wish Donald well in his new role and know Catherine will build on the significant success he has delivered which has laid the groundwork for future sustainable growth.

“As we look ahead, we are on track with our plans to maximise the potential of our investment from the Banking and Competition Remedies Limited (BCR), alongside investment of our own, and have applied to access further funding from BCR in Pool E. We already have a series of new developments in plan for our SME customers this autumn, including a new business banking mobile app and improved online services which will make doing business easier. Of course this is a challenging environment for all businesses and our focus remains firmly on providing the support that helps our small business customers around the country navigate the uncertainty ahead.”

-- ENDS --

Notes to Editors:

For further information:

Lesley McPherson, Director, Communications and Marketing – 07725 903270

David Masters, Lansons – 07825 427514

About The Co-operative Bank
The Co-operative Bank plc provides a full range of banking products and services to retail and SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) customers and 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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