A new campaign has been launched to keep the Co-operative Bank true to its ethical mission in the face of the hostile take-over by US Hedge Funds following what look rather like some poor strategic decisions by the bank’s former management.
Here is the link to the campaign, initiated by Ethical Consumer Magazine http://www.saveourbank.coop/. Also see these letters in the Guardian on the matter, including a link to a petition from the Fair Shares Association asking the kind Business Secretary if he’ll act – don’t hold your breath. On their site the following interesting opinion on the legality of this change in the bank’s status appears:
Ian Snaith, the UK’s leading expert of the co-operative law, points out:
- The new bank does not conform to the definition of a co-operative as a ‘jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise” passed by the 1995 General Assembly of the ICA.
- Nor does it conform to Recommendation 193 on Co-operatives passed at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2002.
- Nor does it conform to the 2003 regulations for a European Co-operative Society (Regulation No 1435/2003) which explicitly rejects control by outside investors.
- Nor is it consistent with a United Nations (UN) resolution in 2009 on co-operative development.
- Nor will it conform to FCA guidance on the governance of co-operatives because it deviates from the one-person, one-vote principles of co-operative governance.