Go compare with our comparison table

Britannia Co-operative merger offers ethical banking alternative

03 August 2009 / by Andy Davies

Britannia Building Society and The Co-operative Bank have completed their merger and aim to offer customers an ethical alternative to banking.

It is hoped the merger will create a "trusted and ethical alternative to shareholder-owned banks", whilst having £70billion worth of assets.

The merger means there will be more than 300 branches of the Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) across the UK and the company will employ more than 12,000 people.

Back in April, Britannia's members voted nine to one in favour of the merger meaning Britannia becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Co-operative Group.

The merger will, according to The Co-operative, "bring together Britannia's extensive high street presence and savings and mortgage product strength, with the personal and corporate banking, insurance and fund management expertise of CFS."

Neville Richardson, former chief executive of Britannia and will now lead the new financial institution, while Bob Burlton, currently non-executive chairman of the CFS, will lead the new board.

Neville Richardson, commenting on the merger and what it means for ethical banking, said:

"Trust has become a scarce commodity in other financial businesses of late and we aim to provide a genuine alternative to those disillusioned with shareholder owned banks; ours will be an ethically-led organisation, which will reward members and be completely accountable to them."

Bob Burlton believes the timing of this new financial service could not have come at more appropriate time for consumers, he added:

"This merger creates a mutual organisation with the scale, financial strength and reputation to provide a wide range of enriched ethical products to millions of UK households, and we are doing this at a time when many people are calling into question the integrity of their banks."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd