Co-op Bank to market £200m of green bonds

Manchester-based Co-operative Bank Finance has announced it will begin marketing £200 million of potential green bonds.

“The Co-operative Bank Finance p.l.c. will today begin marketing a potential Green GBP-denominated MREL-eligible debt issuance, its inaugural green bond transaction, and has mandated Goldman Sachs International and NatWest Markets Plc as Joint Lead Managers to arrange a series of fixed income investor meetings starting on 28 March 2022,” said Co-operative Bank in a stock exchange statement.

“A RegS GBP-denominated MREL-qualifying green senior debt transaction for a minimum size of GBP 200m and with an expected instrument rating of ‘B1’ by Moody’s is expected to follow, subject to market conditions.

The net proceeds of the issue of the bonds or amounts equal thereto will be used by The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. for financing and/or refinancing, in whole or in part, Eligible Green Assets in accordance with its Green, Social and Sustainability Financing Framework which, together with the Second Party Opinion from ISS ESG, is available on the group’s website.”

On February 24, Co-operative Bank announced its first full year of profit in 10 years amid a surge of 185% in its net mortgage lending to £2.4 billion.

Statutory profit before tax was £31.1 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2021.

Total income rose 18% to £361.5 million as net interest income increased 21% to £323.9 million and customer net interest margin (NIM) increased by 15 basis points (bps) to 161bps “reflecting balance sheet growth at improving margins.”

Co-operative Bank has been looking for takeover and merger deals with rival banks after its approach last year for TSB was rebuffed by TSB owner Banco Sabadell of Spain.