The Co-operative Group is set to post a record £2bn in losses for 2013, driven by losses from its banking arm.
The BBC’s business editor Robert Peston reports the Co-op is expected to report its worst losses on record when it announces its results next month.
The Co-op Group is planning a £500m cost cutting programme, with £100m in savings already identified.
The BBC reports that to achieve these cuts the Co-op is planning between 4,000 and 5,000 job losses by 2017, especially in head office and in support positions.
One source said: “We worry the board is exaggerating the scale of the crisis, including losses, to turn the Co-op into much more of a conventional business, and move it away from its democratic and ethical roots.”
Co-op chief executive Euan Sutherland will set out the Co-op’s restructure in full at its annual meeting on 17 May.
Last year Co-op Group reduced its stake in the bank to 30 per cent as part of a rescue deal which saw bondholders and hedge funds take a majority stake.