Tuesday 23 July 2013 7:33 pm

Brand Index: Co-op Bank still trailing its rivals after series of setbacks

A MONTH ago I looked at the succession of crises suffered by the Co-operative Bank this year: the collapse of its deal to buy branches from Lloyds, a downgrade from Moody’s, and the controversy surrounding its bail-in.

I promised that we would be watching closely to see how it played out over time, and so I’ve gone back into the data to track the firm’s fortunes in the eyes of the public.  

The Co-op’s Buzz score – which is a net score of whether consumers have heard something positive or negative about the brand ­– had fallen from 12.6 on 27 April to minus four on 30 April, after the Lloyds deal collapsed.

Then it dropped from minus 5.3 on 10 May to minus 27.1 on 13 May after the downgrade.

It was starting to decline again from minus 16 on 16 June after the bail-in announcement, and finally bottomed out at minus 31 on 19 June. It has been recovering since.

By 8 July the ground lost in that final decline has been recovered, and the brand has plateaued since, sitting at minus 15 on Monday of this week.

The Index score shows a similar but interestingly different pattern. Rather than being news that people have heard, Index is a composite of six key image measures that looks at how consumers perceive the brand.

The Co-op’s Index score was not really affected by the deal collapse, but fell badly from 12 to four after the downgrade, and then again to minus two off the back of the bail-in announcement. It has now recovered somewhat, and currently sits at plus one point.

The Co-operative is well on the way to recovering the buzz and overall perception ground it lost in the third dip, but it still has much work to do to get back to its position of just a few months ago.

Perhaps the best perspective is to look at its position relative to other banks. Of the 27 that we track its Index score places it seventh; a good position but down from third three months ago.

Stephan Shakespeare is the chief executive of YouGov