Co-operative Bank scraps sale plans as bailout talks continue

Emma Haslett
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Co-op Bank Downgraded By Rating Agency Moody's
The Co-op Bank put itself up for sale in February (Source: Getty)

The Co-Operative Bank has ditched plans to sell up, opting instead to pursue talks over a bailout with investors, it said today.

The bank put itself up for sale in February this year, and was linked with the likes of Virgin Money, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank and TSB. Although it said it had a "number of" offers, no deal was made.

Having confirmed last week that it was in "advanced discussions" over a potential bailout with a group of existing investors, today it said it had decided to discontinue the formal sale process.

It added that the bailout deal will enable it to meet its longer-term capital requirements and continue as a stand-alone entity, as well as safeguarding the values and ethics written into its rules during its so-called bail-in back in 2013.

In March the lender said its sale will require a capital injection of between £700m and £750m. It said it was in "advanced discussions" with a group of existing investors last week, although questions remained over the fate of the pension scheme it shares with the Co-operative Group, which wrote off its 20 per cent stake in the lender in April.

However, today it said a "majority of the key commercial aspects of the proposal have been substantially agreed".

"Discussions with respect to the separation of The Co-operative Pension Scheme into sections for which Co-operative Group and Bank have respective responsibility are advanced.

"Discussions are continuing between the parties, including on other key matters, with a view to agreeing the final aspects of the proposal and a further announcement will be made in due course."

Read more: ‎Co-operative by name, resistant by nature?

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