An upbeat – and therefore brave – press release today from Co-operatives UK, announcing that the Co-operative Bank has now been admitted as one of its members.
Co-ops UK’s Ed Mayo is reported as saying that his organisation is “working closely with The Co-operative Bank through this period of substantial change and [is] pleased they are joining in with the wider co-operative movement through their membership”. The Co-op Bank’s Niall Booker proffers: “Co-operative values and ethics are at the heart of our bank. While much has changed, our commitment to this has not.”
The Bank is of course now only minority owned by the Co-operative Group, and it wasn’t long ago that Ed Mayo was publicly suggesting that its continued use of the name ‘cooperative’ would be problematic. There’s been considering rowing-back from this stance since then, but there does remain a legitimate question to be asked as to whether the Bank is really still within the cooperative fold.
My own view? Personally I think it isn’t.