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Independence from The Co-operative Bank, Successful Capital Raising, New Constitution

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Independence from The Co-operative Bank, Successful Capital Raising, New Constitution

Published: December 16, 2015

Unity Trust Bank (“Unity” or “the Bank”), which brings a fresh approach to banking and an ethical alternative, today announces a number of key developments:

  • The buy-back of the majority of The Co-operative Bank plc’s shares in Unity
  • New Articles of Association that combine shares into one class and enshrine Unity’s social purpose
  • The successful issue of new shares that provides additional capital for growth

Unity is proud of its successful track record. Founded by the main UK trade unions in 1984, it is a challenger bank for small to medium sized businesses and organisations that create economic, community, social or environmental benefit in the UK. It can now better serve more such organisations. In doing so, Unity aims to deliver both social and economic benefit and good returns for its shareholders.  This is Unity’s ‘double bottom–line’ approach.

Prior to today’s announcement, The Co-operative Bank plc (“TCB”) owned 26.7% of Unity through its subsidiary, Co-operative Commercial Limited. Unity has entered into an agreement with Co-operative Commercial Limited, whereby Co-operative Commercial Limited has sold shares to Unity, to reduce its holding to 6.7%. Unity is funding this from its existing resources. Unity’s new Articles of Association redesignate all shares into a single class, all ranking pari passu, and remove the different rights of the old classes. As a result, TCB will no longer have a controlling interest in Unity or the right to appoint directors.

The new Articles also enshrine Unity’s social purpose so that a majority of 75% of shareholders are required to make changes.  These commitments are set out in the Notes to Editors below.

Unity sees considerable demand for an ethical bank from businesses and organisations with more than just a financial purpose themselves. To finance expansion, Unity today announced the successful raising of £8 million of new capital from existing and new shareholders to support growth.

Chairman Alan Hughes said:

“Today’s announcements represent the most significant changes to Unity since the Bank was founded thirty years ago.  We are now an independent bank, with a new Board, new leadership and the capacity to grow.   Our commitment to delivering a double bottom-line of both social and economic benefit is now enshrined in our constitution.  Demand for a bank with a social conscience is stronger then ever and I am delighted we have attracted additional capital to be able to meet it. ”