The Co-op Bank is now not taking over the several hundred Lloyds branches but how does that affect you? This isn’t a question about competition. It’s to do with the Co-op Bank’s balance sheet which the financial regulator has deemed weak and could do with bolstering.
Fair enough I’m not here to criticise the Co-op Bank but what puzzles me is that the Co-op has for several months been in discussions and negotiations to take over the 700 or so Lloyds branches. This was done with full knowledge of the financial regulator and/or, I suppose, with a degree of cooperation. If the regulator knew at the time that Co-op Bank wasn’t strong enough to take over Lloyds branches then why did they allow the negotiations to continue for several months?
I really don’t know the answer to this and I’m hoping someone out there can cast some insight. Here at ASC we deal with the regulators and don’t have any issues; we comply and always we make sure we comply, but we regard it as a little bit of a chore. I thought the regulator was set-up to protect the consumer and make sure that the financial service industry is properly supervised.
Maybe I’m wrong?