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Co-operative Bank 'to stay in red until at least 2017'

Published 20/08/2015

The bank's losses have widened considerably on last year
The bank's losses have widened considerably on last year

The troubled Co-operative Bank has warned it will remain in the red until at least 2017 as losses widened significantly to £204.2 million in the first half of the year.

Half-year losses were far higher than the £77 million reported a year earlier as the bank counted the cost of moves to put it on the road to recovery, and said it would continue to see losses throughout 2015 and at least 2016.

But the Co-operative insisted the performance of the core business had begun to stabilise as it halted the exodus of current account holders, and added that mortgage lending was recovering.

The figures come after a damning official report last week found the Co-operative Bank misled investors and kept regulators in the dark as it came close to collapse.

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) concluded there were serious failings in the way the lender was run from July 2009 to December 2013, but spared the bank a potential £120 million fine after taking into account the state of its balance sheet.

Despite the widened losses, Co-op Bank chief executive Niall Booker said the bank's turnaround was on course, with the lender now in better shape to withstand stresses in the wider economy.

He added: "Although the core bank remains work in progress, its performance is also beginning to improve as we increase efficiency, continue to re-invest in the brand and work with customers to offer competitive products that meet their needs.

"Of course, we have always said that addressing legacy issues will continue to dominate financial performance for some time and there is considerable work ahead towards a full recovery."

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