Co-op bank for sale

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  • System
    System Posts: 178,102 Community Admin
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    JuicyJesus wrote: »
    Honestly I'm surprised Smile is still a going concern at all. Always struck me as First Direct for people who didn't want a black debit card. Nothing wrong with them per se but they don't really seem to have a USP over just being with the Co-op.

    Smile's USP was ethical finance (just like the main brand) but with good rates and a modern identity.

    With the low interest rates, coupled with demise of the 'Internet banks' like Egg, Co-op basically made the products virtually identical to the main brand. Smile (nor the tarnished Britannia ) brand will survive even in the (unlikely) event that the Co-op Bank brand does.

    There is probably some crossover with the First Direct demographic but they aren't like for like.

    I doubt the Co-op would loose many customers simply by merging Smile into its main brand.
  • antrobus
    antrobus Posts: 17,386 Forumite
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    JuicyJesus wrote: »
    Honestly I'm surprised Smile is still a going concern at all. Always struck me as First Direct for people who didn't want a black debit card. Nothing wrong with them per se but they don't really seem to have a USP over just being with the Co-op.

    Smile (like Cahoot for example) dates back to the early days of the interweb, when having an internet bank account was seen as something different from having a normal account. Now there is no difference; now more or less every bank account can be operated online. Having separate online and offline brands doesn't really make sense any more.
  • p80
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    I have a britannia svr rate and was thinking of fixing it, not sure whether to wait til the coop has been sold, as not sure if the interest rates would drop!
    Any ideas anyone?
  • PeacefulWaters
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    p80 wrote: »
    I have a britannia svr rate and was thinking of fixing it, not sure whether to wait til the coop has been sold, as not sure if the interest rates would drop!
    Any ideas anyone?
    Shop around. If your existing lender is good value use them, but if you can fix for less elsewhere why wouldn't you?

    The sale of the firm should have no influence on this decision.
  • Robisere
    Robisere Posts: 3,237 Forumite
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    Stuart_W wrote: »
    Co-op Bank put up for sale - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38954115

    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?

    Not TSB, but perhaps its new parent bank, Banco Sabadell, the fifth largest Spanish bank: https://plus.google.com/+bancosabadell
    I think this job really needs
    a much bigger hammer.
  • Anthorn
    Anthorn Posts: 4,362 Forumite
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    What about CYBG which is one of my picks from my earlier post in this thread. CYBG's interest in the upcoming Williams & Glynn sale shows that they are looking to expand but since that deal has been dashed on the proverbial rocks they could be looking for another candidate.

    Still banking on Lloyds though.
  • JuicyJesus
    JuicyJesus Posts: 3,830 Forumite
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    If TSB bought the Co-op the irony would be delicious.
    urs sinserly,
    ~~joosy jeezus~~
  • System
    System Posts: 178,102 Community Admin
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    Robisere wrote: »
    Not TSB, but perhaps its new parent bank, Banco Sabadell, the fifth largest Spanish bank: https://plus.google.com/+bancosabadell

    Why would Banco Sabadell want another UK banking licence?
  • System
    System Posts: 178,102 Community Admin
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    Stuart_W wrote: »
    Keeping smile and becoming an online only bank justifies getting rid of all the branches I suppose. With instant post office access (cash deposits appear immediately) and good online and telephone servicing, no branch network isn't going to be a big deal for the majority of customers. For those it is, they are the most expensive customers to service and the new owners probably won't mind if they walk. Branch closures have really sped up a pace now, and online banking has finally become the norm. I would be very surprised if the branches remain, whether it is a new entity or existing bank that buys Co-op.

    They could just ditch branch banking all together and adopt the smile model for the combined business - but solely using using the coop brand including retro clover design!
  • Stuart_W
    Stuart_W Posts: 1,737 Forumite
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    Heng_Leng wrote: »
    They could just ditch branch banking all together and adopt the smile model for the combined business - but solely using using the coop brand including retro clover design!

    One reason why I thought there is a vague outside chance that the smile brand may be retained is simply because the new owners would at least be able to use that name, if they wished. Whether the new owners would be allowed to keep the Co-op name long term is not clear. Bestway group were given a year to get rid of the Co-op name when they bought the Co-operative pharmacy chain (now called Well). The government might decide to allow it, if it provides a chance of flogging the whole bank. Media reports seem to suggest this is less and less likely as the days go on.
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