The Co-operative Group Statement re: Lloyds Banking Group branch assets

December 14, 2011

The Co-operative Group today confirms that it has been granted preferred bidder status in the process currently being run for the sale of the Lloyds Banking Group branch assets. There can be no certainty that a transaction will be completed or the terms on which any transaction might be concluded.

Further announcements will be made as appropriate.

Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group, said:

“We have a clear strategy for driving The Co-operative Group forwards. As part of that we have been working to build upon our strong foundations in banking to ensure customers have a real alternative on the high street. We are a people’s bank – mutually owned, with profits shared between members and also used to invest for the long-term. Our interest in the Lloyds Banking Group’s branch assets needs to be seen in this context. We think a combination of these branches and our own would significantly strengthen our position as a real challenger in relationship banking in the UK.

“Clearly our bid for the assets is non-binding and we would only proceed if we could reach an agreement that was in the interests of our members and other stakeholders. At the same time, acquisition is not the only route we have for growing this business. Our bank has continued to go from strength to strength following the merger with Britannia and we are pushing further through initiatives such as our in-store banking programme. We are, however, pleased to have been granted preferred bidder status and look forward to working with Lloyds to try to reach agreement on a deal. Any transaction would be subject to regulatory approval”

For further information contact:

Russ Brady
Patrick Tooher
The Co-operative Group
Tel: 0161 827 5856 / 0161 903 4187