Inside Information on the Disaster…..
These emails, supplied to the Parliamentary Select Committee looking at the issues around the Co-op Bank’s attempt to buy the Lloyds Branches give interesting food for thought. They give a perspective on the deficiencies of the Boards of both the Bank and the Co-op Group when decisions were being made and the problems the writer saw with the quality of the then executive.
The perspective is that of Rodney Baker-Bates. They give his reservations and issues with Project Mars and some insights into the decision making process as he saw it. He suggested that some on the board had personal reservations but allowed themselves not to make those “public” (I assume that means they didn’t raise them in the board meetings) and were part of “group think”. His account suggests that the exec looked with “disdain” on lay directors who had no business experience and that some lay directors saw themselves as being “hoodwinked”. His account also implies that the executive persuaded the chairs of both Bank and Group Boards to support their plans and then relied on them to persuade the other directors.
Anyone who wants to understand what went wrong with the Bank and the Group should invest time in reading the material here and watching some of the hearings here. Unfortunately I can’t find that time at present but it is a treasure chest of inside information for those who can.
A big thank you to the person who specifically drew these gems to my attention.