The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Abigail with attitude: Co-op's Flowers the 'Crystal Methodist'

One banker – although I use the term loosely – who might be wishing his mother could get him out of trouble is the Reverend Paul Flowers. This story has me spellbound. It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry. Flowers, who is now known by the sobriquet of the ‘Crystal Methodist’, was the chairman of Co-op bank which is owned by the Co-op Group, a mutual institution. Mutual institutions are owned by their depositors or policyholders and are not publicly listed on the UK stock exchange. I have to admit that until now the Abigail with attitude column has not focused its piercing gaze on the Co-op. This was a big mistake. The bank has been revealed as a cesspit of scandal and impropriety and it could well drag some big establishment figures down with it.

There are two parallel scandals – one personal, the other professional, and interlinked. In January 2009, Co-op Bank announced a merger with Britannia Building Society and, some three-and-a-half years later, the successor bank agreed to purchase 630 branches from Lloyds in a £750 million ($1.2 billion) deal. Then, in February 2013, the British regulators discover a £1.5

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree