One of Britain's smallest banks has became one of the country's biggest after Lloyds sold more than 600 branches and the accounts of up to five million customers to the Co-operative.
The deal means it will triple its footprint on our high streets. The Co-op's chief executive promised a revolution, restoring trust to high street banking. Richard Pallot asks if he can deliver on that.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said that while the move was a "welcome first step" in increasing competition, portable account numbers should be introduced to make switching your bank as easy as changing your mobile phone.
The Co-operative Bank has been in the financial services sector for 140 years and additional branches will be great news to not only its loyal customers, but also to prospective new customers looking to make a move from their existing bank...They also continue to support various charitable causes by the way of issuing charity credit cards.
As we have seen over recent weeks following the recent banking turmoil, many smaller banks, including the Co-operative Bank, have benefited from customers switching away from the big banks.
Creating a new 'real' challenger to the big banks may be the antidote the sector needs, and may encourage a culture of switching which has been lacking over the past few years, especially as the Co-operative Bank is seen as a more trusted brand than many of its rivals.
– Kevin Mountford, head of banking at comparison website MoneySupermarket