Losses at the Co-operative Group could top £2.5 billion this week as annual results reveal the depth of the crisis at the troubled mutual.
The bigger-than-expected figure stems from the group’s disastrous debt-fuelled acquisition spree and the cost of bailing out its banking arm.
The company, whose interests include food stores, travel and funeral care, has estimated net debt of £1.2bn, which is mostly owed to its syndicate of lending banks including Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland.
They are reported to be increasingly troubled by the run of boardroom disputes at the Co-op Group.
Former City minister Lord Myners resigned from the board last week after his proposals for a shake-up of the group’s corporate structure encountered stiff resistance from supporters of its democratic mutual model.