Most large corporate consumer cooperatives go through the motions of democracy, this is even worst with the large mutuals. Cooperatives decay as such when they disconnect from their membership. Cooperatives and mutuals are alive in so far as they relate to their membership and not just a narrow coterie. The demise of large parts of the Mutual sector in the late 80 and 90s was due to these organizations being zombies as democratic mutuals; as many still are! The way many mutuals behave seems to foster a dormant apathetic membership; a convenient state for the group of insiders that govern and administer.
In BBC 4 program In Business Peter Days questions Peter Marks (chief executive of the cooperative group on £1 million); are his answers adequate?
Cooperative banking was a means to an end , the advancement of cooperatives and to serve the community . Has the means become an end?
See link to BBC Radio 4 : In Business program on the Cooperative.