Move your Money has reacted with dismay that Co-operative Bank has today announced it will withdraw from providing banking services to local authorities.
Chief Executive of Move your Money, Laura Willoughby, said: "this is a short-sighted move for Co-op bank. Councils are an important and profitable market – otherwise Barclays would not be targeting it.
"Local Authorities need to be able to choose from a competitive market and find banks that share their values and aspirations (see video below). Instead, this announcement leaves their choices virtually non-existent. It gives the big 5 banks a clean run at public money, and makes a mockery of the Government's stated ambition to diversify and regionalise UK banking and promoting competition.
"Councils should not give their contracts to any bank without demanding local benefit and better behaviour. It's time for Local Authorities to flex their muscles as the powerful customers that they are!"
Co-operative Bank has 35% of the market share of local authority transactional banking contracts, over 160 of all local authorities. It has a good reputation for customer service and proved a popular choice with Labour-run Authorities as part of the Barclays disinvestment campaign over apartheid in the 1980s.