Ethics cost Co-operative Bank £6.6m in lost business

The
Co-operative Bank turned away business worth £6.6m during 2003 because of its
ethical stance, it has revealed.

It
said the value of business lost after refusing to provide banking services to
certain companies, was nearly 58 per cent higher than it had been the previous
year.

But
the group also estimated that up to 30 per cent of its £130.1m pre-tax profits
could be attributed to its ethical and ecological stance, up a quarter from the
previous year.

It
lost £709,500 by refusing to deal with firms that supplied arms to oppressive
regimes, while the cost of turning away business for animal welfare reasons
jumped to £556,500 from £158,000.

It lost
£512,500 by refusing business from companies involved in fossil-fuel
extraction, while avoiding chemical companies that caused needless pollution
cost £445,000.

It
also declined to deal with companies and organisations associated with
exploitative labour practices, and turned down business from those with poor
human rights and environmental records. It also turned down firms involved with
tobacco and deforestation, whose business was worth around £647,000.

Director
of corporate affairs Simon Williams said: "These figures clearly
demonstrate that while our ethical stance clearly leads to lost business, the
customer value analysis shows that it has a very positive impact on our overall
profits."

By
Mike Berry

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