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Ex-Co-op Bank chair Paul Flowers charged with drug offences

Former Co-operative Bank chairman Reverend Paul Flowers has been charged with drug offences.

ITV News reports Flowers, who was Co-op chair from May 2010 to June 2013, has been charged with two offences of possession of a Class A drug and an offence of possession of a Class C drug.

Flowers has been bailed but is due to appear before Leeds Magistrates Court on 7 May. He was arrested last November.

The Co-op Bank results, published last week, show it lost £1.3bn last year with £411m set aside for consumer redress.

The troubles began after the bank revealed a £1.5bn capital black hole last April and was forced to pull out a bid for 632 Lloyds Banking Group branches.

MPs have expressed shock that Flowers was put in charge of bank despite no banking experience or specialist knowledge.

At the Treasury select committee in November he was unable to name the size of the bank’s balance sheet.

FCA director of supervision Clive Adamson led an FSA panel of three that approved Flowers’ appointment in 2010.

The Co-op Bank is subject to an independent inquiry, FCA enforcement investigation and three internal reviews.

Former City minister Lord Myners quit the Co-op Group board last week, after his plans to reform the business were criticised by senior members. Group chief executive Euan Sutherland also resigned last month, saying the organisation had become “unmanageable”.

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