Britannia Building Society’s proposed merger with The Co-operative Bank has been approved by the Financial Services Authority.
The merger, which will come into effect on August 1, will not bring any noticeable changes for customers in the short-term, as both financial institutions will continue to trade under their current names and provide their individual products.
In the future, customers of both banks will have access to over 300 branches in UK.
Customers of Britannia and the Co-operative are being asked to use their preferred branches for now, as necessary changes to merge the two companies will take up to three years.
Under the agreement, the new business will be a wholly owned subsidiary of The Co-operative Group.
It will be led by Britannia’s current group chief executive, Neville Richardson and the new board will be chaired by Rob Burlton, who is currently the Co-operative's non-executive chairman.
Mr Richardson, pleased that the merger was accepted by Britannia members and the FSA, assured customers the company’s values would not change.
He said: “We’ll remain mutual, we’ll maintain an extensive branch network and we’ll continue to share profits with members – while offering them enhanced products and services, the benefits of being part of a larger group and the chance to earn even greater member rewards.”
Rob Burlton added: “This move will accelerate the momentum within the Co-operative and mutual sector.
“Both businesses have been pursuing successful strategies independently and are strong in their own right but we recognise we could be even more successful by coming together to create the UK’s most trusted financial services business.”
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