Co-op Group braced for new round of losses

Tim Wallace
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THE CO-OPERATIVE Group is set to follow its bank into multi-billion pound losses when it reports its finances later this week.

The troubled retail, pharmacy and funerals group is expected to have lost up to £2.5bn in the last year, during which it has lost its chief executive, Euan Sutherland, who quit over a row with the board. He called the firm “ungovernable” as a result.

The latest set of figures come after a dire year for the Co-op Bank, which discovered a capital hole of £1.5bn last summer and another gap of £400m this year.

As a result the Group lost its 100 per cent control of the bank, and now owns 30 per cent of the lender.

The bank reported losses of £1.3bn for 2013 on Friday, and warned it does not expect to make a profit this year or next year.

The Group’s losses are expected to contribute to a tumultuous annual general meeting next month, where key moments are expected to include bosses’ pay at the mutual.

The democratic structure of the group will also be up for debate as Lord Myners, who quit the board last week, nears the end of his review into the structure of the company.

Members will vote on his recommendations, which aims to modernise the historic structure and make the firm’s governance more suited to a major conglomerate.

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