“David Davis suggested there was something suspicious about the collapsed Co-op/Lloyds deal, which would have seen the Co-operative Bank buy more than 600 Lloyds branches.
“Right at the beginning, the Co-op had had trouble taking over Britannia Building Society when that was failing. It was having trouble with its profit-making it was making money and now we know it’s £1.5bn in a hole. Now this is only six months after the deal was struck. What’s changed in the last six months? Next to nothing. But either they did a terrible job of due diligence or they did a fairly loose one because they were encouraged to do the deal.
“I think there’s – there’s something wrong with this deal. That’s what I know. I can’t tell you there was political pressure because I wasn’t in the room. But there is something wrong with this deal.”
Mr Davis said if the Government had intervened on the deal, they should have been upfront about it.
“We don’t disagree over the importance of the Government having a strategic view over what to do with the bank – it’s too important [to the] economy. But what should have happened is that should have been upfront. I mean there’s a real rule of law problem, when two people bid, if you are only going to allow one to win. So there’s all sorts of real issues on the back if that. But of course we have an interest and it’s right we have an interest. Otherwise the economy is not gong to recover.””