Co-operative Bank expands banking operation for businesses
The Co-operative Bank's continued support for business customers was reaffirmed today when it announced an expansion of its network of banking centres across the country.
The Bank has opened a new Corporate Banking Centres in St Albans and another will open in Guildford before the end of year, taking the overall number nationwide to 22. This follows a doubling of the centres from 10 to 20 since 2007.
The expansion is a key part of its intention to grow its relationship-based approach to commercial banking and it plans to increase its presence further in coming years.
Despite the economic uncertainties of the last few years that have seen many of its competitors reduce lending and support to businesses, The Co-operative Bank's commitment has remained resolute.
Since 2007, the Bank's commercial lending balances have grown by more than 40 per cent, including £500m specifically to fund renewable energy sector projects.
Deposits from business customers have more than quadrupled from £1.4bn in 2007 to £6.7bn by June 2011, evidence that the Bank is increasingly seen as a genuine alternative to traditional players in the market.
Keith Alderson, Managing Director of Corporate and Business Banking at The Co-operative Bank, said: "Throughout a period when many other banks have scaled back support to business customers, we have not just maintained our support but stepped up our commitment.
"The rate of growth in our customer numbers, lending and deposits shows how the Bank is now challenging traditional providers. A focus on high levels of service, built on developing long-term supportive relationships is resonating with businesses at a time when they really need support from their bank.
"We are continuing to invest to improve our future capability and scale so that we can offer an even better service to a wider range of customers.
"At this time, more than any other, businesses need guidance, advice and the support of their bank whether they are seeking new opportunities to grow or dealing with challenging economic environment.
"And as part of The Co-operative Group we are in a unique position in the market to offer customers access to a broad range of services and expertise spanning sectors from legal services to pharmaceutical care."
The Bank currently has 6,000 corporate banking customers throughout the UK and 70,000 business banking customers. Its Corporate Banking Centres offer businesses with annual turnover above £1m traditional relationship banking with a locally-based dedicated manager.