The Co-operative Bank has reinforced its commitment to the voluntary sector by expanding its specialist charity and social enterprise operation. The Bank has created a new Scottish-based team and doubled its North of England operation located in Manchester. Alongside a team based in London, the two offices will give the Bank a broader nationwide presence as it seeks to offer voluntary organisations a compelling alternative to the traditional banks.
The Bank believes its relationship approach, co-operative model and position as the UK’s only high street bank with a clear Ethical Policy will appeal to the sector. It is an established provider to charities and social enterprises of all sizes and offers banking services to some of the UK’s most well-known groups such as Christian Aid and Amnesty International.
Debbie Wheeler, Head of Charity & Social Enterprise Banking team said: “Our ethical approach and the commitments we make to society as a co-operative have long been aligned to the voluntary sector.
“We put great emphasis on close working relationships and hope that our supportive approach will appeal to groups in the sector at a time when they are coming under pressure through impending reductions in grant funding and people cutting back on donations during tough economic times.
“This expansion now provides the platform for the Bank to become a major force in banking to charities and social enterprises.”
The Bank provides organisations with turnover of more than £1m per year tailored banking solutions supported by a dedicated relationship manager and support team. For those with turnover under £1m free banking is available through the Community Directplus account.
The Bank has received a number of recent accolades that reinforce its responsible approach to banking. These include the ‘Best Charity Account Provider’ at the 2010 Business Moneyfacts Awards; and being named ‘World’s Most Sustainable Bank’ by the Financial Times and International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank, ahead of 110 banks from 44 countries.