The Co-operative Group is expected to increase its workforce by more than 8,000 staff after its banking arm clinched a deal to take on 632 Lloyds bank branches.
CEO Peter Marks said he expected no job losses after the deal - for an initial £350m plus £400m over the next 15 years - was agreed last week.
The deal swells the society’s banking business to nearly 1,000 branches and a 7% market share of the UK’s personal current accounts. Before the acquisition, The Co-operative Bank had just 342 branches and 10,545 staff.
The acquisition also means the society now boasts some 110,000 staff across its portfolio of businesses, which include food, pharmacies, funerals, travel and legal services. The majority are in The Co-op’s food business, which employs 75,000 staff.
Paul Pester, CEO of the Verde business at Lloyds Banking Group, will become CEO of the combined banking business, subject to approval from the Financial Services Authority.
The society’s food business is also expected to gain from the higher profile The Co-operative Bank will attract following the deal. The Co-op Group has been rolling out Co-operative Bank branded cash machines to its food stores for some time, and has also opened branches in some of its bigger food stores.
“The acquisition will increase the scope and reach of The Co-op Group as a whole and enable The Co-op Banking Group, through an extensive bank network, to provide banking services to The Co-op Group’s wider member and customer base,” Marks said.
It is the second jobs boost from The Co-op Group in as many months. In May, the society announced plans to create 3,000 jobs after it was granted alternative business status under the new Legal Services Act allowing it to offer legal services for the first time.