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

December 14, 2011

The Co-operative Group today is pleased to confirm 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 it might be concluded. Any transaction would be subject to regulatory approval. 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 program. We are, however, pleased to have been granted preferred bidder status and look forward to working with Lloyds to try to reach agreement."

 

For further information contact:

Russ Brady / Patrick Tooher

The Co-operative Group

Tel: 0161 827 5856 / 0161 903 4187

 

Susanna Voyle / Lucy Legh

Tulchan Communications

Tel: 020 7353 4200

 

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 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.