viernes, 30 de agosto de 2013

Bail us out or we go bust, warns Co-op Bank - Telegraph.co.uk

But retail bondholders and hedge funds last night reacted with fury, describing the handling of the bail-out as "disgraceful". It followed Co-op management insisting there would be no call to discuss the poor financial performance, saying bondholders would have to wait until the end of October to receive full details of the rescue plan.

Mark Taber, a representative of retail bondholders in the Co-op Bank, hit out at the mutual's decision not to release further details of its exchange offer that will see investors forced to take a large cut in the value of their holdings.

"It is disgraceful that Co-operative Bank has not given any more detail about its exchange offer a full 10 weeks on from the June 17 announcement that they are mindful of retail investors and will look at a more suitable alternative," said Mr Taber.

Bondholders will be offered a minority shareholding in the Co-op Bank if they accept the terms of the rescue deal. But the Co-op warned yesterday that the newly-listed bank was unlikely to make a profit for several years.

Mr Taber said: "The Co-op has stated that the bank 'will not be profitable for some years', so presumably no prospect of a dividend on the ordinary shares they will be offering pensioners in exchange for their bonds for some years either. So how can their offer as announced to date be suitable for their pensioner investors?"

The Co-op Bank's auditor, KPMG, meanwhile, confirmed that, without the emergency injection of capital, which will include £1bn from the Co-op, the lender will no longer be a going concern.

Fitch Ratings said the bank's results showed "the poor quality" of its assets and warned the business would "continue to report losses for several years". The agency added that the success of the capital raising was "key" to the bank's future.

Niall Booker, the former HSBC banker brought in to lead the turn-around of the Co-op Bank, said the disposal of the lender's toxic loans would probably take "four to five years".

Along with the loan impairment, the Co-op Bank also took a £148m charge on its investment in a new IT system as it wrote off the entire cost of the platform. The lender said the computer system was "inconsistent" with its strategy, given the bank is expected to shrink.

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