East Cambridgeshire Council switches bank after Co-op says it no longer wants it business


ECDC - Credit: Archant

East Cambridgeshire District Council was forced to change banks this week after its former provider announced it was withdrawing its services.

In a letter to the district council, the Co-op Bank said it was moving away from providing banking services to councils and would not be renewing its contract.

In light of the news, John Hill, the council’s chief executive, launched a tendering process for a new bank and, using emergency powers, selected NatWest.

He consulted leader of the council, Councillor James Palmer, before taking the decision – which will come into effect in March, when the accounts will switch.

The rest of council will formally notified on January 8 at a meeting of full council.

In a report, Mr Hill said: “Given that the deadline financial services work to in order to transfer the council’s banking provider are very tight, the chief executive insteicted the financial services manager to progress the necessary actions in order that the new banking arrangements are in place by the required deadline.”

Last year, the Cop-op Bank wrote to the leaders of 130 councils informing them of its decision to withdraw banking services to local authorities.

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In the letter, it warned it would have to “exit some banking relationships which do not meet our future risk appetite or which have comprehensive and complex banking requirements.

“As part of this strategy, we have decided to withdraw from our involvement in providing banking transmission services to local authorities.”