TROUBLED lender the Co-operative Bank has reported a £75.8m pre-tax loss for the first half of the year but said it was encouraged by its progress since it was rescued from near-collapse last year.
The bank's interim results are the first since it reported a full-year loss of £1.3bn for 2013.
While it remains in the red, the six-month loss is an improvement on the loss of £844.6m reported in the same period last year.
It said the number of permanent employees of the bank had been slashed by 13 per cent in the first half of 2014.
The bank also said its capital position had been strengthened, following a £400m capital-raising.
The business had to be rescued last year after a £1.5bn hole was discovered in its balance sheet, in a deal which saw the wider Co-op group cede majority ownership of it to bondholders including US hedge funds.
Chief executive Niall Booker said: "Considering the scale of the challenge we faced a year ago, we are encouraged by the progress made to ensure the stability of the bank."