UK’s Co-op Bank profit run continues as turnaround kicks in

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Co-op Bank posted a third straight quarter of profits on Friday, as the self-styled ethical lender made further progress on its turnaround after nearly a decade of annual losses and was lifted by Britain’s economic rebound.

The lender reported pretax profits of 28.5 million pounds ($38.46 million) for the nine months to September, compared to a 68.1 million pound loss over the same period last year.

Co-op Bank has started to reap the benefits of a period of painful restructuring, after its near-collapse and rescue by a group of U.S. hedge funds in 2017.

The lender did not make any reference to any acquisition plans, weeks after making an unsolicited offer for rival lender TSB that was rebuffed by Spanish owner Sabadell.

Takeover interest in Britain’s mid-sized banks has picked up in recent weeks, with shares in fellow challenger bank Metro Bank closing up 29% on Thursday after it revealead an approach from U.S. private equity giant Carlyle.

($1 = 0.7411 pounds)

(Reporting by Iain Withers; Editing by Rachel Armstrong)

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