Thursday, 24 April 2014

BBC News - Labour Party seeks to cut links with Co-op Bank

The BBC article about the Labour Party moving from the Co-op bank to The Unity Trust Bank is a little disingenuous.
The BBC report here says: 
'Sources at the Labour Party have told the BBC's business editor, Kamal Ahmed, that negotiations have begun to move a £1.2m loan Labour has with the Co-op Bank to the Unity Trust Bank, and that once the loan has been moved Labour would move all its current account facilities to the same bank.'
Oddly the Unity Trust Bank website website informs me that 'Unity funds its banking business entirely from shareholder capital and customers' deposits. Our shareholders - Trades Unions and the Co-operative Bank - are long term investors, having owned the bank since formation.'
With a little more digging on the Unity Trust Bank website I see that included on the list of shareholders is this...
'Represented on the Board Communication Workers' Union
GMB National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers UNISON UNITE USDAW The Co-operative Bank plc '
And then there's this...
'The Co-operative Bank plc, through its subsidiary Co-operative Commercial Limited, owns 26.66% (14.64% in 'B' shares and 12.02% in 'C' shares).'
Faisal Islam at Channel 4 here manages to report the above and also that...
'Unity Trust bank right now is functionally part of the Co-op Bank. The Co-op's 27 per cent shareholding is one thing. But more important is that the bank's articles of association demand that Co-op controls Unity Trust.

Regulators  (the Bank of England now) naturally demand that bankers, not union leaders, run banks. 

Therefore, despite its minority shareholding, the Co-op Bank appoints the majority of the board, the chairman and the MD.

That means the Co-op Bank's own risk director and financial control director sit on the board of Unity Trust Bank.'

So why do the BBC want people to believe that the Labour Party are leaving the Co-op Bank when they are really moving between parts of that bank? Bias?


andy5759 said...

It only makes sense if the Co-Op Bank is going to the wall /to be hauled over the coals, or be commercialised. The latter appears to be the most likely. All of this is an act of prestidigitation, now you see it, now you don't. Move along, nothing to see here.

PS, I have been offline for a while. I seem to remember that you had a bee in your bonnet about Auntie's reporting of the Middle East. What's changed?

Not a sheep said...

I still have 'bee in my bonnet' about the BBC's reporting of the Middle East. But sometimes it's hard to keep at them about it...