Double benefits to be realised by Unity Trust Bank

Double benefits to be realised by Unity Trust Bank

Birmingham’s Unity Trust Bank has ended 2015 with a refreshed focus on its social aims, buying back most of The Co-operative Bank’s shares and issuing new shares for growth.

Founded by the main UK trade unions in 1984, Unity considers itself a challenger bank for small to medium sized businesses and organisations that create economic, community, social or environmental benefit in the UK.

In doing so, Unity aims to deliver both social and economic benefit and good returns for its shareholders. This is Unity’s ‘double bottom–line’ approach.

The Co-operative Bank plc had owned 26.7% of Unity through its subsidiary, Co-operative Commercial Limited.

Unity has entered into an agreement with Co-operative Commercial Limited, whereby Co-operative Commercial Limited has sold shares to Unity, to reduce its holding to 6.7%. Unity is funding this from its existing resources.

Unity’s new Articles of Association redesignate all shares into a single class. As a result, TCB will no longer have a controlling interest in Unity or the right to appoint directors.

Unity sees considerable demand for an ethical bank from businesses and organisations with more than just a financial purpose themselves.

To finance expansion, Unity today announced the successful raising of £8m of new capital from existing and new shareholders to support growth.

Chairman Alan Hughes said: “Today’s announcements represent the most significant changes to Unity since the Bank was founded thirty years ago. We are now an independent bank, with a new Board, new leadership and the capacity to grow.

"Our commitment to delivering a double bottom-line of both social and economic benefit is now enshrined in our constitution.  Demand for a bank with a social conscience is stronger than ever and I am delighted we have attracted additional capital to be able to meet it. ”