Week 11: Villain – The Board of the Co-Op Bank

by Ray_North on March 17, 2014

villain_2_iconThis Week’s Villains are the Co-Operative Bank.

I just feel so let down by them.

The Co-Op used to stand for a certain type of integrity. You’d go into their shops and there would be posters telling you how they didn’t invest in unethical causes or countries where there were dictatorships or oppression. You felt happy parting with your money or investing your savings because you imagined that any profit would be reinvested for the benefit of the common good.

But, sigh, bloody big sigh actually,they changed, they became just like all the rest.

The last year has been a fiasco. Their results have been atrocious – they are due to release figures which show losses of £2billion for 2013. As a result of this they are laying off 5000 employees, they have betrayed the spirit upon which they were founded – ethical causes and the notion of, well, the notion of cooperation have been forgotten.

We could, perhaps have forgive them this if it had been simply incompetence – as we are used to incompetence in the world of banking. Indeed we forgave them over the fiasco of the Rev. Paul Flowers, whose behaviour we believed more akin to prattishness than villainy.

But, the news this week that the Co-Op bank despite the incompetence, gross incompetence, despite the betrayal of everything that they once stood for, are going to award their board massive bonuses and enhanced salaries. According to the Observer, Chief Executive Euan Sutherland, will be paid a gigantic £3.5m, whilst many others will be receiving bonuses of over £1m.

How can they justify that?

How can such failure be compensated in such a way?

It happens throughout the world of banking. It is one of the reason, we say, that our country is so riven, so unfair, so stagnant, so shockingly regressive.

It is, we say, an act of villainy.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike Killingworth March 18, 2014 at 9:08 am

The answer, of course is: Because They Can.

If you wish to behave morally, you must first abandon all desire for the possession of power.


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