The Co-op Bank has gained Living Wage Accreditation. This fulfils a commitment made at the announcement of the new Ethical Policy in January.
Save Our Bank wholeheartedly welcomes this announcement.
It confirms the steps already taken by the bank to raise pay at the bottom. That's a step towards fairness in a world where inequality is growing.
Of course there are two sides to a fair pay policy and we stand by our call for the chief executive Niall Booker to refuse his bonus. There's no denying the importance however of tackling the lowest levels of pay.
It is perhaps ironic that the bank - now 80% in private hands - has achieved this while it remains an aspiration at the Co-operative Group. Of course retail is a different industry - The Co-operative Bank is not the first bank to get Living Wage Accreditation (we think all the big four except Lloyds) and The Co-operative Group is not the only retailer to be paying below the living wage. What's more the Co-op Group recently agreed a big 8.5% rise for its lowest paid. But we think it's a big step forward that the bank is presenting this as a point of ethical principle.