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Saturday, July 10, 1999 Published at 21:21 GMT 22:21 UK

Business: The Company File

Robertson sheds light on Scotland gaffe

Pat Robertson: Comments upset investors

Right-wing US evangelist Pat Robertson has dismissed the Bank of Scotland's decision to cut its multi-million pound tie-up with his telephone network as a huge overreaction.

Pat Robertson: "I assumed Scotland was named after the Greek"
He told CNN's Larry King Live programme that his comments about Scotland being "a dark land, run by homosexuals" had been misunderstood.

He said: "There's a word in Greek, Scotia, which means darkness and I assumed that Scotland was named after the Greek."

[ image: Pull-out: Bank of Scotland is looking for new business partners]
Pull-out: Bank of Scotland is looking for new business partners
He had since been told that the name had Gaelic roots, not Greek.

Hundreds of people switched their accounts from the bank following the comments and the Scottish Trades Union Congress also threatened to switch the business of 100,000 of its members, who use a Bank of Scotland affinity card.

The bank's share prices tumbled and director Peter Burt flew to Boston for a crisis showdown with Mr Robertson. It resulted in the direct banking link being called off in June.

It is believed that the bank paid Mr Robertson about £2m to sever the link.

However, Mr Robertson would not comment on the amount.

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