Updated: Wednesday, 18th September 2019 @ 2:33pm

Death knell of reform: Lord Myners quits troubled Co-op Group board in face of review opposition

Death knell of reform: Lord Myners quits troubled Co-op Group board in face of review opposition

| By Helen Le Caplain

Sex scandals, drug stings, financial storms and resignations.

The Co-operative Group has experienced it all and last night the organisation was plunged into fresh disarray as the person brought in to reform it, former City Minister Lord Myners, quit after just four months in the job.

It is believed he faced mounting opposition to his plans to overhaul the group.

The beleaguered organisation, which started life as a pioneering society in Rochdale has now grown into a troubled retail and banking giant.

Its origins are the 1844 Rochdale Pioneers Society which was based on eight ‘Rochdale rules’ including distributing a share of profits known as ‘the divi’.

Back in 2008, just as the financial crisis hit the UK, the bank took the decision to give some of the control to a group of US hedge funds, a million miles away from its humble roots as an ‘ethical’ bank.

Now, 170 years on, this ‘divi’ is still in operation but now with shareholders holding a 30% stake in the bank.

This coupled with an attempt to rapidly expand its enterprises, including acquiring Somerfield and Britannia, saw it going cap-in-hand to bond holders last May for a £1.5bn rescue package.

Just months later the then Co-op bank boss, Reverend Paul Flowers, dubbed the ‘The Crystal Methodist’ was caught in an undercover newspaper sting buying and using drugs and arranging orgies with rent boys.

After this series of embarrassing exploits the bank brought in Former M&S chair Lord Myners to launch a review and reform the business.

But after just four months he has decided to step down as an independent non-executive director but is thought to continue with the controversial review.

The news comes just weeks after the Chief Executive Euan Sutherland resigned.

The Co-operative is yet to comment.

Image courtesy of BBC via YouTube, with thanks