Co-op asks for public’s help to steer its future

The Co-operative Group today asked the public to have their say on its future after the embattled mutual admitted it had “lost touch” with customers and communities.

The 150-year-old organisation, which has interests spanning banking, retail and funeral services, has launched an online consultation to ask for people’s views on topics such as how the Co-op should share its profits and whether it should make political donations.

The Co-op’s reputation has been hammered following a string of recent setbacks, including the discovery of a £1.5 billion black hole in its finances and a drugs scandal surrounding the former chairman of its banking arm.

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Chief executive Euan Sutherland said: “In recent years the Co-operative has lost touch with its customers and members and with the communities in which it operates – we haven’t been listening.

“As a new management team we are focused on renewing the Co-operative and the UK public will be vital to that process.”

The public consultation runs until 24 March.