Co-op Bank losses widen

A branch of the Co-op Bank: Getty Images
A branch of the Co-op Bank: Getty Images
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Embattled lender Co-operative Bank said its annual pre-tax losses have more than doubled to £610.6 million due to tough market conditions.

The bank saw its losses spiral in the year to the end of December from £264.2m a year ago, as it suffered from volatile global markets and low interest rates.

However, chief executive Niall Booker saw his pay jump by a quarter in the same period to £3.8m, as he benefited from long-term incentive awards.

The bank also lost 329,000 retail current account holders in the period as customers were tempted away from the business, which prides itself on its ethical stance. It now has 3.8 million retail current account holders.

The lender said its losses stem from the previous management when it nearly collapsed in 2013 after a £1.5 billion black hole was discovered in its balance sheet.

Since Booker joined the lender almost three years ago, it has sold off risky assets and slashed branches in a bid to get the business back in shape.

The bank said it reduced operating costs by 13.5 per cent to £491.9m last year, as it closed 58 branches and cut full-time staff by 18.5 per cent to just under 4,500. It said it plans to close a further 54 branches this year.