The Co-operative Group To Axe More Than 1,000 Banking Jobs

A co-operative bank branch in Camden, central London
A co-operative bank branch in Camden, central London

The Co-operative Group is to axe more than 1,000 jobs at its troubled banking arm as part of an overhaul of its business and finances, reports Sky News.

Details of the move, which will cut more than 10% of the bank's workforce, are expected to be released on Monday.

The redundancies are part of the lender's plan to fill a £1.5bn hole in its balance sheet.

The deal will involve Britain's biggest mutually-owned organisation relinquishing ownership of the Co-op Bank.

Insiders told Sky News a decision had yet to be taken about whether the scale of the jobs cull would be made public on Monday by Euan Sutherland, the Co-op Group chief executive.

"It's unlikely he'll want to go public with it at this stage," said one.

The job losses will primarily affect the bank's corporate lending business, with a revised strategy focusing on retail and small business customers.

News that the Co-op Bank will no longer be majority-owned by the mutual has sparked anger among customers, prompting the bondholder group to praise the lender's ethos.

"The Co-Operative Bank is unique for its ethics, mission and heritage which are an essential component of the Bank’s differentiated approach," LT2 said in a statement last week.

"It is important to us that the Bank will maintain its unique characteristics and ethos.

"The Co-operative Group Ltd. will remain the Bank’s largest shareholder by far and the Bank will benefit by this connection to the Co-operative movement."

Last month, the bank's US owners spoke out to reassure customers.