Co-op Group chairman Len Wardle has resigned today after taking full-responsibility for hiring disgraced ex-Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers.
The Group has launched a ‘fact-finding process’ after Flowers was caught on video apparently buying drugs. He has been suspended from the Labour Party and the Methodist Church where he is a minister.
Flowers chaired the bank until June 2013 when the extent of Co-op bank’s problems became apparent.
In a statement, the group said: ‘Given the serious and wide-ranging nature of recent allegations, the new executive management team has started a fact-finding process to look into any inappropriate behaviour at the Co-operative Group or the Co-operative Bank and to take action as necessary.’
Is it too easy to become directors of banks?
A review of the group’s democratic structure has also been launched, after concerns that Mr. Flowers was unqualified for his position and his appointment was the the result of internal politics.
David Jackman, head of ethics at the FSA until 2003 told BBC Radio 4 that it was ‘very disturbing’ that Mr Flowers had made it through the vetting procedure. He said: ‘I think it is too easy for people to become directors of banks…but there is a limit to what regulators can do and we really need to look to banks to police who they recruit. ‘
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