James Moore: Through thick and thin, Co-op Bank still has friends

Outlook: Fortunately the bank has some breathing room

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The Independent Online

 Co-operative Bank’s chief executive Niall Booker has confirmed what the market was expecting: that it is likely to fail a Bank of England stress test despite adding nearly £2bn of capital to its balance sheet over the past year or so.

The tests look at a bank’s ability to survive a one-in-25 event – in this case a 35 per cent crash in house prices, combined with soaring unemployment and interest rates.

Not very likely as things stand, you might think. But cast your mind back to 2008 and the parade of banking executives who subsequently moaned that they couldn’t have predicted what happened back then.

Fortunately the bank has some breathing room. Some 66 per cent of its customers still regard it favourably despite the scandals it has been associated with. So they’re likely to stay put. It’s if they start getting stressed that the bank would really have to worry. Best look after them, Mr Booker.