Co-op chair Lidbetter to fast track Lord Myners’ reforms

Tim Wallace
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THREE Co-op Group directors are working on implementing Lord Myners’ reforms as fast as possible, City A.M. understands, hitting back at the non-execs who have campaigned against the changes.

Group chair Ursula Lidbetter has publicly backed Myners’ bid to streamline the ungainly democratic structure.

But others, led by Midcounties Co-operative boss Ben Reid, have opposed the changes.

The traditionalists on the elected board are concerned the Co-op could lose its character as well as its democratic and ethical roots.

But Myners has insisted he wants to broaden the democracy while streamlining management, giving individual members a greater say, while putting more executives on the board.

A board sub-committee made up of Lidbetter and fellow directors Michael Harriott and Herbert Daybell has been appointed to put Myners’ plans into action.

The trio hope that, should the annual general meeting (AGM) of Co-op representatives approve the reforms next month, they will be able to put the changes in place rapidly.

Myners was appointed after a series of disasters led to the Co-op Group losing overall control of the Co-op Bank, and making a loss of £1.3bn last year.

He hopes that reforming the governance of the group will make it more nimble and better able to address its problems.

After criticism from Reid and other opponents, Myners agreed to stand down from the board after the AGM.