Co-Op Bank losses narrow
on branch closures, staff cuts
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[August 22, 2014]
By Matt Scuffham
LONDON (Reuters) -
Britain's Co-operative Bank reported a narrower loss for
the first six months of 2014 after axing jobs and
closing branches following a restructuring that saw it
fall under the control of bondholders.
The bank reported a pretax loss of 75.8 million pounds ($126
million), compared with an 844.6 million pound loss in the same
period the previous year.
Britain's seventh-biggest lender, which has 4.7 million customers,
came close to collapse last year after a 1.5 billion pound capital
shortfall was exposed. A recapitalization saw the Co-operative
Group's ownership of the bank fall to 20 percent.
The bank said on Friday it had cut its payroll by 21 percent in the
past year to 5,860 and closed 46 branches, reducing its branch
network by 16 percent since the start of the year. Another 25
branches will close in the fourth quarter, it said.
"By the measures of capital and liquidity the bank is considerably
stronger than it was a year ago," Chief Executive Niall Booker said
in a statement on Friday.
"We are ahead of schedule in the disposal of non-coreassets and have
improved governance, particularly at board level. However, the
issues we continue to face in building a sustainable business are
deep rooted and there remains much to be done."
(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)
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