Troubled Co-op bank seeks teen help

Updated: 
Co-op young board membersTroubled high street bank, the Co-operative, has asked James Walker, a 16-year-old boy from Gateshead, for help.

The bank, which has a £1.5bn hole in its accounts, has recruited 15 young people, aged 16 to 25, to make up a young members board to advise the fuddy-duddy, old guard of bank bosses on future developments.

Sweet 16

The youngest board member is just 16. James Walker said: "When I found out I had been appointed I was over the moon, extremely ecstatic and thrilled. I am looking forward to meeting new people, to the challenges ahead and, to having a great time too!"

The bank says the move is "designed to recognise and harness the inspirational contribution young people have to make." And it reckons "the board will challenge and inspire change for future generations while exploring new ways to engage and involve young people."

The young bank bosses will present their board's findings and views directly to The Co-operative's Group Board and senior managers.

Excited

The first chair of the board is one of the oldest. He's Ed Moss, 25, from Manchester. He said: "I have been a member of The Co-operative for a number of years and to be able to get involved with the business in this way is really very exciting.

"Everyone in the Group seems so excited to work with us as a board and to hear our thoughts on how business can help address the real needs of younger people today and how we can better engage young people in community life; local decision making and service delivery."

The Co-operative's Group chief executive, Euan Sutherland, said at his first meeting with the board members: "Often when we talk about inspiring young people we mean how the older generation can help younger people but I believe these board members have the enthusiasm and drive for co-operation which will act as an inspiration to us all.

"The Young Members' Board will provide these young people with real responsibilities and opportunities to gain new skills, knowledge and experience. I have asked them to look at all aspects of our businesses from product innovation through to business development and to report back to me and my other senior managers."