Most of the English banks were founded by Quakers. Barclays was founded by Quakers who set themselves up as goldsmith bankers in Lombard Street in 1690. One of the original founder's daughter married a Barclay whose name the bank later assumed. In 1896 20 Quaker owned banks amalgamated to form what became an international banking giant. The original money most of these banks made was funding the settlement of the north American colonies, but most of the banks at that time had had enough profitable income not to go broke. Becoming rich is at odds with the Quaker principles of simple and plain living. However part of that same ethic was that going bankrupt meant Quakers could be expelled from their church. They both despised and created modern corporate capitalism.
Originally, I believe, Quaker banks who mainly employed Quakers provided pensions when people eventually had to retire, usually very close to the end of their days though, which was well before other employers offered anything. The cooperative movement was set up using mutual society principles learned from the Quaker way of doing business in banking and other enterprises. Anyway, the 1896 merger to form the modern Barclays was and inspiration for the amalgamation that gave rise to the Cooperative as was until at least the mid-1950s. It was a kind of soft socialism that most of the concerns that amalgamated into the Co-op already practised to some degree. During WW1 they even formed a Cooperative Party at their congress in Swansea as the plaque where that happened says. In 1927 they formed a pact with Labour and formally became part of the Labour movement just before WW2.
Ironically the Cooperative Party still exists within Labour; its members standing for a sustainable economy and society, a political culture that puts citizenship at the top of its agenda, with equality of opportunity and human rights high up and socially responsible business represented by the practice of retail and industrial cooperatives despite the Co-op itself having left that path long ago. Many of Labour's 'greens' and socially engaged (sic) MPs like Hazel Blears actually belong to that part of the Labour movement.
So, the Co-op lost its principles just like the party bearing its name that is part of a party that also disowned its principles of mutuality. Does one wonder that things are as they are? Ironically, what still happens is that a large chunk of money still goes toward the Cooperative Party, in other words the Labour Party, in order to support the base principle of mutuality that is long lost in the mists of time.