Unity Trust Bank
|Public limited company|
Unity Trust Bank plc provides specialist banking services to trade unions, charities and other organisations that operate in the not-for-profit sector in the United Kingdom and (since December 2015) its remit has expanded to include profit-with-purpose businesses. Founded in 1984; head office is located at Nine Brindleyplace, Birmingham.
Originally a licensed deposit taking institution, Unity Trust Limited acquired full status as a bank in 1987.
Historically, Unity Trust Bank was majority owned by individual trade unions and federations (73.23%) and The Co-operative Bank owned the remainder (26.7%) through its subsidiary, Co-operative Commercial Limited. In December 2015, Unity bought back shares from Co-operative Commercial Limited, which reduced The Co-operative Bank's holding to 6.7%.
Unity Trust's new articles of association redesignated all shares into a single class, all ranking pari passu, and removed the different rights of the old classes and created additional shares. As a result, new shareholders have invested in Unity and the Co-operative Bank no longer have a controlling interest in Unity Trust or the right to appoint directors.
The Co-operative Bank's stake was put up for sale in early 2014 in an attempt to restore profitability following a capital shortfall, which resulted in a rescue by its bond holders – led by US hedge funds – and the parent Co-operative Group ceding control.
In its founding principles, the bank was established as “an organisation identified with and embracing the philosophy of the common good.” It promotes a socially responsible and sustainable approach to banking and lending. Unity Trust Bank was rated top in eight out of nine customer satisfaction categories in the Charity Finance Banking Survey 2015.
- Jackson, Suzy (22 December 2015). "Double benefits to be realised by Unity Trust Bank". Business Quarter (magazine). Retrieved 24 December 2015.
- Weakley, Kirsty (16 Dec 2015). "Unity Trust Bank becomes independent and announces growth plans". www.civilsociety.co.uk. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
- Treanor, Jill (14 January 2014). "Unity Trust Bank ownership set for overhaul after Co-op Bank's stake sale". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
- "Unity Trust becomes first Living Wage accredited bank". Blue & Green Tomorrow. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2015.