Co-op Bank has reported pre-tax losses of £103.7m for 2020 in its most recent set of results as net residential lending increased by 5%.
This sees the Bank’s losses reduced by almost £50m – down from £152.1m in 2019 – despite a £22m hit from COVID related defaults.
Nick Slape, chief executive officer of Co-op Bank, said the Bank was set for “for a return to profitability in the near future” and praised the mortgage business as being crucial to its improvment.
He said: “The performance in mortgages and the continued growth of our SME franchise has been particularly pleasing, with net residential lending up 5% at improved margins and our SME business going from strength to strength.
“The transformation of our SME banking business has attracted new customers, meaning we now support over 90,000 small businesses, many of whom are charities, non-profit organisations and co-operatives.
“We continue to improve the service we offer SME customers, delivering our Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) investment plan, with new credit card and savings products, and more to come in 2021, including a new mobile app and same day on-boarding for new customers.
“As we face into continued difficult times for many people and businesses, we remain committed to providing the support required as well as continuing to make a positive impact on the environment and the world around us. This matters now more than ever and we are proud of our record as a beyond carbon neutral bank since 2007, saying no to financing fossil fuels and companies with a poor environmental impact, together with the values and ethics of the co-operative movement that sit at our heart.
“As we look to the future, our commitment to ethical banking will remain central to our strategy, and we intend to link part of executive pay to ESG targets from 2022 onwards.
Back in December talks to sell the Bank collapsed without an agreement.