The Royal Bank of Scotland, which also owns NatWest and is 83% owned by the taxpayer, recently announced bonuses of £800m despite losses amounting to £2b. Meanwhile their score of minus 13 on YouGov’s consumer confidence index means RBS remains the least popular bank in the country. Both RBS and Lloyds were two of the banks whose reckless actions brought about the situation we now face, but still the big five High Street banks have a 90% market share in the UK.
There has been no significant banking reform to date despite the anger from the British public or the warm words from the Tory-led Government. The Co-op Party’s campaign for mutualisation of Northern Rock did not succeed. Bonuses continue to be paid.
The Move Your Money campaign, backed by the Co-operative movement, is asking consumers to leave the High Street banks and move their money to ethical banks like the Co-op Bank or to mutual providers like Credit Unions and Building Societies.
The proposed purchase of banking branches from Lloyds TSB by the Co-op Group is still very much alive! The Board are looking at the pros and cons of the deal, and a final decision is very close it was announced at the recent AGM. Both the Chief Executive, Peter Marks and the Group Chairman, Len Wardle, high-lighted the attack on the Board members by the financial press when it described the Group as being unfit to run a bank – because they included a Nurse, a Methodist Minister, a Civil Servant, and a Farmer and others, but members were of the opinion that if more banks had been managed by people with common-sense and real-world experiences the country would not be in the mess it’s in today.