Co-op bank for sale



  • System
    System Posts: 178,104 Community Admin
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    Why would venture capitalists want to sell it if it's so good?

    Aren't they vulture funds?
    They tend to like to dip in, restructure and sell on for a fat profit - not long term growth.

    Also, I doubt the circa 20% drop of Sterling to the Dollar went unnoticed. With hard Brexit and Scottish Independence over the horizon, they may just want out.
  • PeacefulWaters
    Heng_Leng wrote: »
    Aren't they vulture funds?
    They tend to like to dip in, restructure and sell on for a fat profit - not long term growth.
    That's exactly what they are.

    But it was a leading question on my part. It's a damaged sack of spanners that's close to worthless due to its need for more capital.

    These guys are trying to put a positive spin on it when they're desperately trying to cut their losses.

    A great shame. A bank brought to its knees because it bought a building society.
  • colsten
    colsten Posts: 17,597 Forumite
    First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    Should Co Op being put up for sale make it easier for Basic account holders to be accepted by other banks? I tried to move last year but due to an old DMP, Santander would not open an account for me and Co Op would not upgrade to a full account, despite me now being very healthy moneywise. I shrugged my shoulders and let it ride but if this makes it any easier, with less chance of rejection, then I might start the ball rolling again. I don't want or need credit just fancy a different account with the wifi symbol. Rather embarrassing when the shop assistant says you can use "tap" and I have to say my card does not have it. Have liked Co Op as a bank other than that and their inflexibility by not upgrading me. Local phonecalll to branch is nice.

    I don't think the Coop sale will have any bearing on people's ability to get a basic bank account. All banks need to provide a basic account now to anyone, apart from some very exceptional cases. Have you tried Nationwide FlexBasic?
  • notafan
    notafan Posts: 269 Forumite
    edited 13 February 2017 at 1:06PM
    Will anyone even miss it?

    It's USP was its it was a co-op with an ethical stance - and that doesn't fit especially well with private equity.

    Its constantly slated for poor online experience and has never had the network of the bigger banks which it should have been able to turn to its advantage in lower costs but never seemed to do. It's also got the issue of smile which is another brand and marketing costs for something else they've done little with for years.

    Now at a time where banks are shedding branches (co-op bank is still doing this itself too) and investing heavily online i wonder who is going to want to pay for 4 million customers to have a branch network which will likely be duplicate their own.

    Any buyer is going to have to work out if these 4 million accounts which co-op bank are currently finding difficult to make profitable are worth an offer. If its a current bank then its network will likely dwarf co-ops network anyway (according to cityam which says co-op got down to 105, but co-op bank website says it's scheduled to close another 38 this year anyway) so they'll have to factor in the cost of amounts of redundancy - head office staff, back office, call centre staff, branch closures and lease issues - along with taking the risks of PPI etc on. Not to mention because of the ethical stance these customers may well not like who ever buys the bank - therefore there's a risk lots will leave too.

    TSB are closing another 38 branches themselves in 2017 (and they have circa 600 currently), Virgin money are still moaning they want to charge for current accounts and haven't offered anything but a basic account despite promising for years. So i think its a tough ask.

    Potentially CYBG will be interested now that NAB have dumped them. They are in a bit of an odd position themselves - two regional banking brands with limited customers and a new digital arm with - i could potentially see them taking co-op bank on and rebranding the entire thing along with yorkshire and clydesdale under the new B brand which would give them some scale and allow them to come together under a new national brand. Especially as they have been saying themselves that they will either need to acquire, merge or be acquired.

    Otherwise i would think that a healthy marketing budget, incentives and sweeteners could attract a wealth of new customers who could be specifically targeted and selected for existing banks at a fraction of the cost of spending it on Co-op bank. They may not get the same amount but these could be way more profitable.

    Almost certain that the co-op bank brand is dead though. Co-op group will not want the name associated with anything unsavoury once sold altogether and any buyer isn't going to want to pay royalties or licensing for the name.

    The only way this one is attractive is if it goes for a steal...
  • fabsaver
    fabsaver Posts: 1,279 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    MSE_Faye wrote: »
    It's not yet clear what a sale would mean for the bank's four million customers in the long term...
    Read the full story:
    'Co-op Bank puts itself up for sale'
    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.
    It would be useful to link to this news on the Best Bank Account page, specifically under need-to-knows for the Co-op. They are currently still offering generous incentives for switchers, even though the future of the account is now uncertain.

    It's unlikely to be an issue if you're switching a sacrificial account, but anyone considering switching their main current account might think twice now.
  • 68James
    I have banked with Co-op since I went through a bankruptcy in 2011. I was thinking about switching as I was discharged in June 2012 but this is making think more so now. Any ideas on who to switch to and whether I could go to a mainstream account now as I have an ISA with savings with them too?
  • Anthorn
    Anthorn Posts: 4,362 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Stuart_W wrote: »
    Co-op Bank put up for sale -

    Pleased it will be sold as a whole entity rather than be broken up, as some earlier reports suggested.

    Likely buyers? TSB, Virgin or Nationwide maybe?

    You're very good at looking into the future. Hold on I'll give it a try: Om ... Om ... Om. Nope not working. In fact we don't have the details of the sale yet.

    We have to consider that not all the business of Co-Operative Bank is personal retail banking. There are institutional customers such as Credit Unions, Co-operative businesses and Co-Operative Societies.

    It was almost certain that the hedge funds would take their profit sooner or later. Looking at the hedge funds way of making a profit my guess is that there have been behind the scenes attempted deals with Co-operative Group to buy back their business. In fact I predicted that almost 5 years ago.

    I tried to stay but after two years switched everything away from Co-op Bank smile. That included my current account, savings accounts and insurance. The only thing I kept was my funeral plan because I would have lost money if I cancelled.

    Obvious buyers would be Nationwide or perhaps outsiders such as Triodos or Coventry Building Society or even the long-shot Co-operative Group if they have or can get the financial backing. But my money is on Lloyds Banking Group.
  • zagubov
    zagubov Posts: 17,895 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    Isn't it the clearing bank for Virgin? Would they be contenders?
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
  • PeacefulWaters
    Anthorn wrote: »

    Obvious buyers would be Nationwide or perhaps outsiders such as Triodos or Coventry Building Society or even the long-shot Co-operative Group if they have or can get the financial backing. But my money is on Lloyds Banking Group.

    Nationwide or Coventry: Why would they want to commit their members' money to recapitalising a bank?

    Triodos: I'm not overly familiar with them, but why would they want to? Haven't they stopped servicing uk personal customers?

    Co-op: I'm sure they'd love to get it back, but there's little chance of them having the financial clout to do it.

    Lloyds Banking Group: You mean an organisation forced to spin off TSB because of excessive market share?
  • notafan
    notafan Posts: 269 Forumite
    Anthorn wrote: »
    But my money is on Lloyds Banking Group.

    Can't see Lloyds wanting it. Their 3 year plan has been aiming to cut 400 branches by the end of 2017 which i believe they're on track with. When it had to give up project verde i can imagine they were quite selective about what/who they let go. Whilst the expense and hassle of splitting and disposing of these to TSB must have been a pain, I am fairly sure they'll have been rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of offloading branches they didn't want anyway to TSB - which is why TSB has had to close and/or relocate multiple. Lloyds will have certainly made the best of that awkward situation!

    Plus they're in the process of buying MBNA so they'll potentially have their hands full with that acquisition for the near term.

    The fact its having to scream we're for sale highlights the problem. Normally if someone wanted it they'd have made an approach out of the spotlight and the first you'd know was when it leaked. Its rare for a company to start shouting buy us - which only indicates there's probably little interest.
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