Co-Operative Bank says “a number” of suitors have come forward since it announced plans to find a buyer in February.

In an update on the sale process on Friday, the Manchester-based lender said it plans to move on to the next stage of its sale process, with particular potential buyers asked to provide more information.

Spain’s Banco Sabadell has ruled out making an approach for the ailing British lender via TSB, which it bought two years ago.

Since failing the Bank of England’s stress test in 2014, Co-op Bank has been closely watched by regulators while it tries both to restore its capital to an acceptable level and to fix serious deficiencies in its IT systems.

The bank reported an annual loss of £477m earlier this month, underlining the scale of challenges facing the ethically focused UK lender, which has racked up more than £2.7bn of cumulative losses over the past five years.

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