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Co-op crisis saddens former boss

Giving evidence today (Tuesday 22 October) to the Treasury select committee, Mr Marks said the current situation with the bank, which has seen a £1.5bn capital shortfall emerge and pulled out of the Project Verde plan to buy more than 630 Lloyds Banking Group branches, had made him feel “sad”.

Mr Marks admitted to the committee in an often fraught testimony that he had been a “driving force” in the bank’s bid to enlarge through Project Verde, but denied that he was the architect of of the bank’s current problems.

He added that the bank was an “innocent victim of the financial crash”, while the Co-op’s capital shortfall only became apparent to him at the start of 2013.

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Previous testimony from Lloyds Banking Group chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio, also given to the TSC, said that the Co-op had discussed issues with senior management in December 2012.

Mr Marks told the TSC that he “didn’t remember” this.