Our principles are rooted in our past
1844 - The Rochdale pioneers
It all began back in 1844, when the 'Rochdale Pioneers' - a group of 28 weavers - got together and created their own local store so they could avoid exploitation by unscrupulous shopkeepers.
Their ambition was not just to provide goods, but also to improve the lives of the people in their community through education and investment in the local area.
Other groups soon followed suit and co-operative businesses began to spring up one after another across the north of England. It wasn't long before the movement began to spread across the whole country.
Find out more about our early history.
1867 - The Co-operative Insurance Society
Originally created as an insurance company for the co-operative societies, the business has since developed a broader customer base with a wide portfolio of insurance services and a reputation for social responsibility.
For years it was known as CIS, until more recently becoming The Co-operative Insurance and The Co-operative Investments.
1872 - The Co-operative Bank
The bank had similar origins offering banking services to the existing co-operative societies.
As the bank grew it took on a new, more expansive role, forging close connections with local communities and making banking services available to more and more people.
The present - from strength to strength
Close connections have always existed between the bank and insurance businesses. Yet it wasn't until much later in 2002 that the two businesses were brought together to form The Co-operative Financial Services.
In 2009 The Co-operative Bank merged with Britannia to create a trusted and ethical alternative to shareholder-owned banks.
On 5th September 2011, The Co-operative Financial Services became The Co-operative Banking Group. We are part of The Co-operative, which is the largest consumer co-operative in the world with over 3 million members.
We're a unique family of business and we have proven that delivering quality and value doesn't have to come at the expense of honesty and social responsibility. This is demonstrated for example through the bank's Ethical Policy and the Ethical Engagement Policy which influences our insurance and investment business.
Both of these policies are unique in ensuring that our customer's ethical concerns continue to play a central role in guiding the way we do business.
Why not join us?
Anyone can become a member of The Co-operative and take advantage of, not only a share in the profits, but access to exclusive benefits and a say in how the business is run.
See the other side of the coin
Activities in your community and the wider world.