Aug. 29 - Britain's Co-operative bank has reported over 700 million pounds in pre-tax losses for the first half of the year, a position the bank's parent group says could take four years to recover from. Ivor Bennett reports.
709 million pounds is today's daily digit in Europe - the pre-tax losses for the first half of the year at Britain's Co-operative Bank. Most of it has come from bad loans being written off. Technology problems and customer compensation made up the rest. The heavy losses come as no surprise for the struggling bank. Earlier this year regulators uncovered a 1.5-billion-pound hole in its balance sheet. And its credit rating was reduced to junk. The bank's part of the Co-operative Group - the largest customer-owned business in Britain, running supermarkets, pharmacies and funeral services. While those parts are still making money, it's nowhere near enough. Pre-tax losses for the group as a whole were over 550 million pounds. The group's CEO, Euan Sutherland has apologised to customers and investors - and said sorting out the bank's problems would take four years - and involve job cuts.