Ethics pay off for Co-op Bank
The bank will not accept accounts linked to organisations involved in activities such as testing products on animals or fox hunting.
But although pre-tax profits rose sharply to pounds 3.5m in the half year to June from pounds 700,000 a year earlier, the bank still made a bottom-line loss because of the high cost of paying dividends on its preference shares.
The loss after tax and preference dividends was pounds 500,000 in the half year, compared with a loss of pounds 2.2m a year earlier and pounds 7.2m in the whole of the last full year. Preference dividends cost pounds 2.8m in the first half.
The bank's bottom-line losses over the last two and a half years now total pounds 18.1m.
But a spokesman said the bank's shareholders in the co-operative movement were determined that it should pursue an increase in business.
The 'free for life' Visa gold card has been successful, attracting 130,000 cardholders in less than a year. The bank said it had no plans to increase charges for personal customers.
Bad debts were lower than in the second half of last year, and provisions will continue at a 'substantial level' in the second half.
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