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The Co-operative Bank and Britannia merger - Q&As

1st August 2009

You'll probably have heard that Britannia has merged with The Co-operative Bank, part of The Co-operative Financial Services.

This is an exciting development in our history, one that means in the future we can offer customers and members more than ever before.

The merger was approved by the Financial Services Authority on 24th July 2009 and became effective on 1st August 2009. The full integration of the two organisations will take up to three years. You won't see any changes immediately but we will keep you informed as we go through the process of becoming a fully merged business.

We are sure you must have some questions about what this means for you and we hope we have answered those questions below.

What does the merger mean for customers and members?

By joining forces with Britannia we are creating a strong, fair and ethical alternative to other high street banks.

The merger will bring together two successful financial providers to create a business with £70 billion of assets, 9 million customers and 12,000 employees. One that combines our strong banking, insurance and investment expertise with Britannia's high street presence and savings and mortgage knowledge.

What changes will I see?

The merged business will, in the future, operate a full service over 300 branches, 20 corporate banking centres and UK-based call centres. In the short term both The Co-operative Bank and Britannia businesses will continue to operate their own products, branch network and systems.

What will be the impact on products and services that The Co-operative currently offers?

Nothing will change immediately. We remain committed to meeting the needs of our customers and will continue to offer a competitive range of products and services. Over time, customers will have access to a broader range of high-quality products across the range of financial services.

Will I be able to use Britannia branches for my banking?

Customers should continue with their preferred approach to banking, through our branches, call centres and websites. Similarly, Britannia customers should continue with their preferred contact points. We are working as quickly as possible to enable you to use Britannia facilities for your everyday banking, but please bear with us, as we want to do this properly, for you.

In the future, combining The Co-operative Bank and Britannia branch networks will increase the number of branches available for customers to more than 300.

Will membership of The Co-operative be affected?

For 2009, The Co-operative Membership will continue to operate as normal. If you are a member, you will still be able to earn points in the same way, across all the businesses in the group, including financial services, food, travel, legal services, funeralcare, electrical and pharmacy. From 2010, you will also be able to earn points through the scheme for eligible Britannia products.

Will The Co-operative Bank remain committed to its ethics?

The combined business will continue to operate according to our customers' views regarding our unique Ethical Policy. In fact, we recently carried out a review of the Ethical Policy by asking our bank customers to vote for the issues they felt most concerned about.

Britannia already has a commitment to social responsibility and both companies see this as a great opportunity to create a strong organisation, founded on long-standing values of trust and ethical behaviour.

Will my savings have protection under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme?

Financial Services Compensation SchemeThe Co-operative Bank, smile and Britannia are trading names of The Co-operative Bank plc, which is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Find out more