The Co-operative Bank
The Co-operative Bank is a British bank offering a range of banking products from mortgages and loans to credit cards and saving products. In 2013, The Co-operative Bank separated from The Co-operative Group. The Co-operative Group is now a 20% shareholder with the remainder of shares held by investors.[i] The Co-operative Bank’s focus is changing to retail and small and medium-sized business customers.[ii] The majority of the Bank’s funding comes from retail and commercial accounts. As of 31 December 2015, customer deposits were £22.8 billion (€27.2 billion).[iii]
In 2014, The Co-operative Bank re-launched its ethical policy after consultations with its customers. The policy excluding nuclear weapons producers remained the same. The Ethical Policy states: “We will not finance […] the manufacture or transfer of indiscriminate weapons.”[iv] Indiscriminate weapons include cluster munitions, anti-personnel landmines, depleted uranium munitions, incendiary munitions, chemical and biological weapons.[v] It also includes “products or services classed as strategic to nuclear weapons.” Companies found to be in conflict with the policy are excluded.[vi]
The policy applies to all asset classes relevant to The Co-operative Bank.[vii] The Co-operative Bank terminates loan contracts of customers violating its ethical policy.[viii] The Co-operative uses an exclusion list based on research by EIRIS, which is not publicly available.
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I saw on www.dontbankonthebomb.com that you have a comprehensive policy prohibiting investments in nuclear weapons producing companies.
Financial institutions like yours are helping to build the stigma around these inhumane weapons, something that is urgently needed. Nuclear weapons are the only weapon of mass destruction that’s not explicitly outlawed through an international treaty- and thanks to your policy we can show how important and necessary it is that all of society act urgently to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons once and for all.
Thank you for your help in creating a nuclear weapons free world.
With kind regards,
[i] The Co-operative Group, “About The Co-operative Bank”, website The Co-operative Group (http://www.co-operative.coop/corporate/aboutus/ourbusinesses/The-Co-operative-Bank/), viewed 22 September 2016.
[ii] The Co-operative Bank, written response to PAX dated 28 May 2015; The Co-operative Bank, written response to Profundo dated 23 June 2014.
[iii] The Co-operative Bank, written response to PAX dated 23 June 2016.
[iv] The Co-operative Bank, “Ethical Policy”, website The Co-operative Bank (https://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/assets/html/bank/ebooks/ethical-policy/index.html), viewed 22 September 2016.
[v] The Co-operative Bank, written response to Profundo dated 4 June 2014.
[vi] The Co-operative Bank, written response to Profundo dated 29 May 2015.
[vii] The Co-operative Bank, written response to Profundo dated 23 June 2014.
[viii] The Co-operative Bank, written response to Profundo dated 4 June 2014.