The Co-Operative Bank turned away £100m of business last year because it did not meet the organisation's ethical requirements. Twenty financial opportunities failed to meet the Co-op's standards on human rights and the weapons trade, while 16 companies were excluded by guidelines on environmental impact and four by rules on animal welfare, says the bank's annual ethical audit, out this week. Requests for finance for two new British coal mines were among those vetoed.
Meanwhile, total lending by the Co-op soared to £8.3bn, with an extra £800m loaned to British businesses. More than half of commercial deposits, and a quarter of loans and overdrafts, were to companies with "a distinct ethical, environmental or co-operative purpose", the bank said.