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COUNCIL MAY CHANGE BANK OVER DEAL WITH AMERICAN EVANGELIST

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The leader of Shetland Islands Council will recommend today that the authority condemns a deal struck between the B...
The leader of Shetland Islands Council will recommend today that the authority condemns a deal struck between the Bank of Scotland and the controversial right-wing American evangelist, Pat Robertson.

The Scotsman (p7) reports that pressure was growing on the bank yesterday after it admitted that profits from the joint deal could end up funding Mr Robertson's political activities.

Robertson Financial Services, wholly owned by Pat Robertson, will own 25% of the Bank of Scotland's new direct banking subsidiary in the US.

The deal has been condemned by Scottish councils, trade unionists, women's groups and gay and lesbian campaigners because of Mr Robertson's controversial fundamentalist Christian views.

Lewis Smith, Shetland Council's convener, will recommend today that the authority write to the bank condeming the deal. Removing the council's account would prove more problematic, however. Six months ago councillors approved a switch from another bank after the contract for the account was put out to tender.

From Thrusday, the Bank of Scotland will handle all the council's day-to-day transactions. Tavish Scott, a Lib Dem member of the council, backed a call to reconsider the authority's position with the bank and said: 'I would have little doubt that the council would support this.

'Certainly, the timing of the council's decision to move banks is unfortunate. But the council will ask that the bank ends their relationship with Mr Robertson, whose views most of us would find abhorent.'

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