Co-operative scheme to benefit borrowers

The Group has confirmed its first-time members will receive an annual share of any profits based on their trading within the Group’s entire range of businesses.

As part of the scheme, borrowers who hold a Co-operative Bank mortgage of £50,000 or more will earn £25. The Co-operative Group has confirmed the value of points will vary, but has suggested that borrowers will receive one point per £20 outstanding balance of a Co-operative Bank mortgage.

For every Co-operative Group service used, whether it is shops, pharmacies, travel outlets or the financial services the group offers, the consumer will get a share of any profits of the Group, which will be issued annually. The share size will depend on points earned, in conjunction with Group’s profits.

Martin Beaumont, group chief executive of the Co-operative Group, said the scheme would benefit members, and the wider community. He commented: “There are millions of consumers across the UK who share our belief in self-help, social responsibility and democracy, and like us, are prepared to take a stand on consumer and social issues.”

However Harry Katz, principal at Norwest Consultants, cast doubts on the scheme. He said: “This is just a 21st century version of the old Co-op divvy stamps that existed until the mid-60s. It’s nothing new. Overall they are a bit of an irrelevance nowadays.”

The Co-operative Group has set a target of four million shareholders by 2010, with its existing members transferred onto the new benefit scheme.