Co-op changes see more bank branches opening Print
News - Banking
Monday, 05 September 2011 07:56

The Co-operative Bank has embarked on a major transformation of its Britannia branches, enabling customers to open current accounts and carry out everyday banking activities in their local branch.

It has announced today (Monday September 04) that there are now an additional 245 places to carry out everyday banking on Britain's high streets. In total the Co-operative Bank now has 342 bank branches.
It says it is bucking the trend when across the banking industry there are a number of closures which have left 1,000 local communities without a local branch.

The Co-op claims that it will also be a welcome boost for the high street, and a number of these new places to bank will also help provide a vital service for local communities, where there is either only one or even no current bank in existence.
Customers will now be able to carry out everyday activities on their accounts such as balance enquiries, paying in cash and cheques, withdrawing cash, and changing their details and account type.
To mark this change and make it easier for both new and existing customers to recognise, Britannia branches will also now adopt new signage indicating their link to The Co-operative Bank.
‘Supporting local communities goes to the heart of what The Co-operative stands for. At a time when other banks have been closing branches, we are offering hundreds more places for people to carry out day to day banking activities across the country,’ said Peter Marks, group chief executive of The Co-operative Group.

‘Our intention to grow our high street presence has never been stronger and we are striving to offer customers a real alternative choice in the current market,’ he added.
Derek French, from the Campaign for Community Banking Services welcomed the move and said that it will make it much easier for people to open and operate locally a current account with a bank that really is different.

‘We have seen an increase of 73% in the number of new current accounts opened in the first half of this year and now have over 1.5 million current accounts. This shows that there is an appetite from consumers to switch banks and we are hoping that this move will genuinely help bring some much needed competition to the current account market,’ said Rod Bulmer, retail managing director for The Co-operative Bank.

Additionally, from today, the Co-operative Financial Services will now be known as The Co-operative Banking Group, operating under both The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance brand names.