BoS Apologises for Robertson Debacle

01 August 1999

‘FORGIVE US LORD, for we did consort with a Pharisee of Avarice and Bigotry but devilishly tempting TV ratings, for which we do now sincerely repent’ was not exactly how the Bank of Scotland phrased a belated apology for its ill-advised direct banking joint venture - now aborted - with US TV evangelist, the Rev Pat Robertson [Debrief, 7-38]. What Sir John Shaw, BoS deputy-governor and chairman, actually said was that his board ‘regrets any concern - to customers, potential customers, proprietors and staff - caused by the events of the past few weeks.’ All may rest easy that BoS will uphold its principles of ‘ethical values, tolerance, equal opportunity and non-discrimination’. Conscious, however, that many a mickle makes a muckle, Sir John added the rider: ‘As has been recognised from the outset, the concept of establishing a telephone banking operation in North America has considerable potential and we intend to pursue the strategy through other relationships.’