Letter: Co-op was first

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The Independent Online
Co-op was first

Sir: The Consumer Co-operative Movement anticipated the announcement by Sainsbury (report, 26 October) with the opening of the Wholesale Society's deposit and loan department in 1871. Although initially intended to service the retail societies, it achieved full clearing bank status in 1971 and today leads the industry in ethical banking.

RICHARD BICKLE

University of East Anglia

Norwich

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