Co-operative Bank unveils loss of £75.8m

But chief executive Niall Booker insists the troubled lender is making 'good progress'

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The Independent Online

The Co-operative Bank’s boss has insisted the under-fire lender has shown good progress in addressing its problems as it reported a £75.8 million first half pre-tax loss.

Chief executive Niall Booker said the losses are a positive result which compared to the loss of £844.6 million reported in the same period last year.

The interim results are the first since it reported a full-year loss of £1.3 billion for 2013, which followed a year in which the bank nearly collapsed.

It said the number of permanent employees of the bank had been slashed by 13 per cent in the first half of 2014. The bank also said its capital position had been strengthened, following a £400 million capital-raising.

The business had to be rescued last year after a £1.5 billion hole was discovered in its balance sheet, in a deal which saw the wider Co-op group cede majority ownership of it to bondholders including US hedge funds.

Chief executive Niall Booker said: "Considering the scale of the challenge we faced a year ago, we are encouraged by the progress made to ensure the stability of the bank."

The embattled Co-op Group handed over the majority ownership of the bank to bondholders, including a number of US hedge funds last year after discovering a black hole in the mutual’s finances.