Clifford Chance is advising the Co-op Bank as it begins a formal sale process.

Corporate partner Lee Coney is leading the magic circle team along with partners Iain Hunter, Hilary Evenett and Simon Gleeson.

The group will be advising the bank as it begins the process and explores options to build its capital.

The Co-operative Group is a minority investor in the bank and accepted the financial institution’s decision this morning.

Clifford Chance has a close relationship to the Co-op group, scooping a key advisory role for the group’s banking division on its restructuring in 2013.

Allen & Overy played a key role in the bank’s £1.5bn restructuring plan announced in 2013, acting for the group.

Clifford Chance is one of Co-operative Bank’s panel firms, with the group launching a panel in 2015. It was the first to be created following its split from parent company the Co-op Group.