As you will have seen we have announced that, having concluded our annual planning review, the Board has decided to begin a process to sell the Bank, and also to consider alternative options to build our capital position for the future.
Our decision to embark on a sale process and look at other ways of building capital has been taken very carefully. We know that our ethical banking proposition, governed by our Ethical Policy, is important to our customers. This is about the best route forward to deliver the next phase of the Bank's turnaround plan. No outcome has been decided yet and a sale is, of course, dependent on agreeing an offer that is right for our customers and other stakeholders. We also continue to look at other options to build capital for the future. We believe our approach to banking, with values and ethics at the centre of everything we do, sets us apart and remains the key reason why approximately 4 million customers choose to bank with us. As we move through this process, I would like to assure customers this approach will be a key consideration.
We are stronger in a number of areas today than in 2013. We have worked hard to rebuild our customer proposition, differentiated by our values and ethics and strong customer service, which we know you value. We have also made considerable progress in fixing major legacy issues and making the Bank more resilient overall, underlined this weekend by the successful migration of our mainframe banking systems to our partner IBM, which marked a major milestone on our journey to turn the Bank around. I thank our colleagues for all their hard work and commitment to deliver this, and our customers for their patience and understanding during the recent systems downtime. However, our ability to continue to build capital for the future has been adversely impacted by the lower for longer interest rate environment and the greater than expected cost of fixing the legacy issues of the past.
Today’s announcement has no direct impact on the products you have with us or the service we provide for you. As we go through the process, it remains very much business as usual, and our number one priority is to continue to provide the high quality service that is valued by our customers.
We would like to thank all of our customers for their continued support and loyalty.
Liam Coleman, CEO