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Co-op gives reassurance over future of Platform

The bank is closing Platform’s London office in Canary Wharf and relocating the departments to other locations, mainly Manchester.

A spokesman for the Co-operative Bank says it remains committed to its Platform brand and plans to increase lending in this market, especially through buy-to-let.

He says: “While the mortgage market remains challenging we regularly review our approach to mortgage lending across the entire business.

“Our lease at Canary Wharf is coming to an end and after careful consideration we propose to move departments to locations across our existing estate, mostly in Manchester with some presence in London.”

He says the bank hopes to redeploy staff to other areas of the business and will try to minimise redundancies, but he could not confirm how many staff will be redeployed.

The Co-operative became Platform’s parent in 2009 when it merged with Britannia Building Society.

Dev Malle, sales director at Personal Touch Financial Services, says he can understand the move from the Co-operative’s perspective, but nevertheless it is sad news for the lender and those involved.

He says: “Co-op was always going to try to make the business more efficient. The guys at Platform have done a great job building a business that is seen as the broker’s friend.”

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