Co-op Bank narrows 9-month loss to £68m

Nick Slape

Manchester-based Co-operative Bank said on Friday it narrowed its loss in the first nine months of the year.

Loss before tax was £68.1 million for the nine months to September 30, down from a £118.6 million loss a year earlier.

The self-styled “ethical bank” has been recovering in recent years from a number of scandals that resulted in a rescue by a group of hedge funds.

Co-operative Bank said its new mortgage lending was higher than anticipated at £530 million in the third quarter and it has “a strong pipeline of applications going into the final quarter.”

Co-operative Bank CEO Nick Slape said: “This is a challenging time for all banks, given the uncertain economic outlook and continuing low base rate, but whilst we remain loss making as anticipated in our plan, the results also show our resilience as we continue to make significant progress in our turnaround. 

“Our strong CET1 ratio, low-risk credit book and successful milestones delivered in IT and digital transformation mean we are navigating this unprecedented environment robustly.

“This enables us to focus on providing the support our customers need, and we’re pleased to have been able to provide over 8,000 loans to small business customers at this critical time through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

“We are supporting mortgage customers in a range of circumstances, including those seeking to remortgage, and those seeking to move or buy their first home.

“New mortgage lending in the quarter is higher than we had anticipated at £530m, partly as a result of buyers seeking to benefit from the stamp duty holiday currently available, and we have a strong pipeline of applications going into the final quarter.

“The momentum in both our retail and SME banking franchises continues and our brand relevance is increasing at a time when community is more important for many people.

“The market conditions for issuing MREL-qualifying debt are challenging but we remain committed to achieving our future MREL obligations by January 2022, with an issuance targeted before the end of this year.”