Co-op Bank dodges £120m fine

Co-op The Co-operative Bank has managed to avoid a £120m fine from the FCA and Prudential Regulation Authority after their near collapse some years ago.

The regulators decided that hitting the Co-op with a load of financial penalties would undermine the bank's ability to recover. Basically, they don't want to kick them while they're down, which seems uncharacteristically charitable of them.

Dennis Holt, chairman of the Co-op Bank, said: "On behalf of the bank, I would like to apologise again to customers for these past failings and reassure them that the bank is a significantly stronger organisation today under the leadership of the current senior management team."

That said, regulators haven't finished with the bank, confirming that they're continuing with enforcement investigations, including looking into the former chairman Paul Flowers. The inquiries are targeting the period dating back to 2008, when the Co-op's banking wing and Britannia Building Society got together to merge into a "super-mutual".

Sadly, the toxic loans on the combined balance sheet weren't addressed and everything went tits up, which saw a £1.5bn black hole of money emerging. And you'll remember that Flowers had some 'personal issues' too, which were emblematic of the bank's problems.

The Treasury is promising to hold their own inquiry into this onmishambles that is Co-op Bank, but they won't start until the PRA and FCA have finished with their investigations.

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