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Co-op bank's losses double to £610 million

The Co-operative maintains its future is in good shape Credit: PA

The Co-operative Bank posted an annual loss of £610 million, more than double the figure the previous year.

It follows misconduct costs and the sale of riskier assets in an attempt to return the bank back to health.

The Co-op was pulled from the brink of collapse in 2013 after a £1.5 billion capital black hole was uncovered.

Chief Executive Niall Booker said the bank's future looked in good shape, despite expecting more losses next year.

Co-op sorry for selling tainted doughnuts in Oswestry

These are not the tainted doughnuts Credit: Press Association Images

Shoppers in Shropshire have been left feeling ill after they bought Co-op doughnuts that had been accidentally tainted by cleaning fluid.

The company has apologised for what it called "an isolated issue", after disinfectant was left for too long on baking trays which were then used to cook the snacks.

A spokesperson for the Co-operative Food said: "We are committed to offering consistently high quality products and service and, we are sorry that this product fell short of those expectations.

"The matter has been thoroughly investigated and an isolated issue regarding the correct cleaning process for our oven trays was identified. This has now been addressed.”

Paul McGreary, Shropshire Council’s head of business support and regulatory services, confirmed that the Council was looking into the incident.

He said: “Shropshire Council is investigating this case, and that investigation is ongoing; therefore, we can’t comment any further.”

Co-op returns to profit after massive losses

The Co-op is the UK's fifth biggest food retailer. Credit: PA

The Co-Operative Group has returned to profit after a troubled period which nearly saw the collapse of its banking arm.

The mutual posted the £216 million net profit for 2014, but warned its members will not receive dividend payments until 2018.

It followed a loss of £2.3 billion, prompting a rescue plan which saw the group sell its farms and pharmacy operations.

The mutual would have at best broken even without the sales, chief executive Richard Pennycook said, adding that the rescue phase is now over.

The hard work of rebuilding the Co-operative Group for the next generation, and restoring it to its rightful place at the heart of communities up and down the UK, is now under way.

– Richard Pennycook, Co-operative group CEO


Co-op chair speaks of 'defining moment for the group'

The vote on a radical shake-up of the way Co-operative group is run is "a momentous and defining moment" for the group, Co-op chair Ursula Lidbetter said.

Co-op group members have backed radical shake-up. Credit: PA Wire

These reforms represent the final crucial step in delivering the change necessary to return the group to health. This will strengthen the society and enable us to move forward with the urgent work to rebuild the business and deliver on our renewed purpose, in the interests of all our colleagues and our millions of members and customers.

– Co-op chair Ursula Lidbetter

The changes to the group's governance were backed by its members following a landmark vote.

Co-op group members back radical shake-up

A radical shake-up of the way the Co-operative group is run has been approved by its members.

A general view of a Co-operative food store, in the Strand, central London. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Archive

At a special general meeting in Manchester, the crisis-hit company said 83% of votes were cast in favour of proposals drawn up in the wake of last year when the group racked up £2.5 billion losses.

The plans include reform of the food-to-funerals group's board structure, with elected directors - including the likes of a plasterer, engineer and retired deputy head teacher - largely replaced by professional business people.

The new governance structure includes the creation of a smaller board of directors and a move to a one-member one-vote system.

Reforms represent 'final crucial step to restore Co-op'

Interim chief executive Richard Pennycook said approval of the governance changes will mark the end of the rescue phase of the group following recent progress in shoring up its balance sheet.

These governance reforms represent the final crucial step in delivering the necessary change to restore the group and return it to health.

– Ursula Lidbetter, Co-op chair

Co-op sets out new governance after Myners report

The Co-op is to recruit a smaller board of 11 directors with "high standards of competence" as part of radical governance reforms. The mutual will also establish a 100-member council to act as guardian of the group's values and to hold the board to account.

The changes are based on the four-point resolution proposed by Lord Myners and voted on by members at the special meeting in May.

The Co-op has announced changes to its governance. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Other changes include a move to one-member-one-vote on significant matters such as the election of directors and major transactions.

The Co-op, which last year racked up a £2.5 billion loss following the worst period in its 150-year history, said the reforms will be put to a vote at a special general meeting on 30th August.

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