Troubled lender the Co-operative Bank has reported a £75.8 million pre-tax loss for the first half of the year but said it was encouraged by its progress since it was rescued from near-collapse last year.

The bank's interim results are the first since it reported a full-year loss of £1.3 billion for 2013.

While it remains in the red, the six-month loss is an improvement on the loss of £844.6 million reported in the same period last year.

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It said the number of permanent employees of the bank had been slashed by 13% in the first half of 2014.

The bank also said its capital position had been strengthened, following a £400 million capital-raising.

The business had to be rescued last year after a £1.5 billion hole was discovered in its balance sheet, in a deal which saw the wider Co-op group cede majority ownership of it to bondholders including US hedge funds.

Chief executive Niall Booker said: "Considering the scale of the challenge we faced a year ago, we are encouraged by the progress made to ensure the stability of the bank."