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Last Updated: Monday, 22 March, 2004, 10:45 GMT
Bank apologises for porn funding
Bank of Scotland headquarters
The Bank of Scotland admitted that its decision may have caused offence
The Bank of Scotland has launched a policy review after negative publicity over a deal involving pornographic magazines.

The bank had provided 5m for a company called Remnant Media to buy 45 titles from the publisher Richard Desmond.

The adult publications included "Asian Babes", "60 Plus", and "Big Ones International".

The Bank of Ireland, which had also provided finance for the deal, pulled out in response to public pressure.

Shane O'Riordain, a spokesman for the Bank of Scotland, admitted its regrets about a decision which offended some of its customers.

He said: "We apologise for any offence or embarrassment this may have caused.

"We have listened to what our stakeholders have to say, and we will review our lending policies and processes as a matter of urgency."

We are sticking by this loan because one of our key principles is to stand by our customers
Shane O'Riordain
Bank of Scotland
The Bank of Scotland had participated in a 20m deal allowing Remnant Media to buy the top-shelf publications from Mr Desmond's Northern and Shell company.

The Bank of Ireland, a partner in the venture, ended its involvement after protests from Irish women's groups and the Catholic Church.

But the Bank of Scotland said it remains committed to going through with the agreement.

Mr O'Riordain said: "We are sticking by this loan because one of our key principles is to stand by our customers.

"When we make a promise, we keep it."

Homosexual row

This is not the first time the Bank of Scotland has found itself embarrassed by its business decisions.

A venture with the American television preacher Pat Robertson ended after he described Scotland as a "dark land over-run by homosexuals".

On this latest row, sources at the bank have indicated that its senior executives had been unaware of the agreement with Remnant Media until details emerged in the media.

It was a relatively small deal which would not routinely be referred upwards within the bank's management structure.

But it is understood that steps have been taken to ensure that this type of business is not sought in future.

Mr Desmond's decision to sell his adult titles, which also include "Best of Real Wives" and "Fantasy Channel Magazine", was seen as preparation for a possible move to buy the Daily Telegraph.

He already controls Express Newspapers, and the Telegraph newspapers would be a significant extension of his media interests.

Desmond sells off adult magazines
02 Mar 04  |  Business
Telegraph verdict boosts Desmond
27 Feb 04  |  Business
Bank apologises for preacher link
15 Jun 99  |  The Company File

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