The Co-operative Bank launches first ‘customer-service only’ bonus scheme

October 01, 2012
  • Sales targets for branch and contact centre employees removed in new pilot scheme
  • Variable pay for customer-facing staff will depend on customer service measures only
  • The Co-operative provides a different option for customers who are crying out for a trusted alternative bank

The Co-operative Bank today (Monday 1 October) announces the launch of a bonus scheme which rewards branch staff solely on their customer service performance.

In a first for high street banks, sales targets for customer-facing staff at The Co-operative will be removed altogether. Instead staff will have to demonstrate excellent customer service to receive a quarterly reward.

The bank has always rewarded staff on their delivery of customer service, and The Co-operative is regularly voted the best high street bank for customer service, but until now it has not been the only element of its reward scheme.

Barry Tootell, Chief Executive at The Co-operative Bank, said: “Sales performance has only ever been a very small part of our reward scheme, but now we are removing this measure altogether. We have a longstanding track record in delivering excellent levels of customer service, and the experience of our customers when they visit us in a branch or call us on the phone has always been a priority.

“The banking industry needs to start listening to the many people who remain disillusioned with the way it operates and start taking real action to address the needs of their customers.

“Many people are crying out for a high street bank they can trust and we are committed to providing customers with an alternative which puts their needs and experience first, rather than seeing them as sales targets.

The Customer Service Bonus Scheme, which will be launched throughout The Co-operative’s 342 branches today, rewards the customer service performance of branches rather than individuals. A similar scheme will be launched for the bank’s contact centre employees next year.

BSU and Unite, the two unions representing CBG branch staff, added: "BSU and Unite have been in discussions with The Co-operative Banking Group about their reward scheme and are supportive of its decision to now concentrate solely on customer service levels. It has excellent staff working in the branch network who pride themselves on their customer care, and we welcome the move to reward them for this alone.”   

About The Co-operative Banking Group

The Co-operative Banking Group, formerly known as The Co-operative Financial Services, is the banking and insurance arm of The Co-operative Group, which is the world’s largest consumer co-operative with around six million members, over £14 billion turnover, and core business interests in financial services, food, travel, pharmacy and funeral care.  The Co-operative Group has over 5,000 retail trading outlets.

Following the merger with Britannia on 1 August 2009, the organisation is one of the largest and most highly diversified mutual businesses operating in both retail and corporate banking markets.

As part of The Co-operative Group, the business is characterised by its unique ethical and member reward policies and very high levels of customer advocacy.

The Co-operative Banking Group has £70 billion in assets, 12,000 staff and nine million customers.  It has over 300 high street branches, 20 corporate banking centres and major presences in Manchester, Leek, London, Plymouth, Skelmersdale and Stockport.  

It is the only mutual organisation that enables its members to earn financial rewards for the products they hold, as well as giving them the opportunity to have a say in how the business is run.

Contact Information:

Patrick Tooher/ Nuala Ryan
The Co-operative Banking Group Press Office
Tel: 0161 903 4187/ 3808
Email : or
Twitter: @CoopBankPR