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.
Sarah Brooks, director of financial services at Consumer Focus said it was vital that the Co-op used its new status to offer a point of difference and not just "more of the same".
She urged Lloyds and the Co-op to communicate the changes clearly to their customers so they could decide what to do.
Chancellor George Osborne said the sale of 632 branches from Lloyds Banking Group to The Co-operative is good news for the British economy.
Lloyds said there would be no changes for the 4.8 million customers affected by the sale of 632 branches to the Co-Op until next year.
The group said all its customers will be contacted regarding the changes and those affected will be given the option to transfer to the Co-Op or remain with Lloyds.
Chancellor George Osborne hailed the agreement to transfer 632 branches from Lloyds Banking Group to the Co-operative Group: