Co-op Bank to axe 400 jobs in latest phase of transformation strategy

The Co-operative Bank is to axe around 400 jobs, it confirmed today.

The Manchester-based bank, which is currently the subject of a possible takeover by Coventry Building Society, said it is the result of the next phase of its efficiency drive.

It said: “The decision has not been made lightly, and the bank will continue to work closely with our trade union and to support impacted colleagues.”

The aim to cut up to 400 jobs will affect 12% of the bank’s total workforce.

It explained that, over the past three years it has pursued a strategy to simplify and transform the business with the aim of delivering long term sustainable growth.

It said it this has involved significantly investment in the business, including more than £100m in its IT system re-platforming, which is nearing completion.

As the bank enters the next phase of its transformation plan it said it will seek to leverage the benefit of this investment and will be taking steps to ensure it has the right resource and processes in place to deliver its customer and commercial objectives.

This has led to a review to identify opportunities to simplify processes, it said, reduce its cost base and make efficiency improvements.

Consequently, it has today (March 26) announced a series of changes across the bank which it said are essential for the delivery of the next phase of the strategic plan, including the 400 redundancies.

In February the bank posted annual results which showed pre-tax profits to the end of 2023 of £71.4m, a drop from 2022’s £132.6m.

The group’s total income for 2023 was £515.2m, the vast bulk of which derives from interest payments on its loan book.

Overall income increased by three per cent in comparison to the 12 months ended December 31, 2022 (FY 22: £499.4m).

Earlier this month it was reported that the Coventry Building Society had reportedly drafted in JP Morgan, as it looked to bolster its proposed takeover of the Co-op Bank.

The Wall Street giant is working alongside KPMG on the deal, after an exclusivity period was confirmed on December 21.

Both parties have until the end of March to negotiate the terms of the deal.

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