Bank apologises for porn mags deal

Banking giant HBOS has made a public apology to stakeholders after admitting it part-funded the acquisition of a pornographic magazines business from Express Newspapers owner Richard Desmond.

The apology story was broken by The Scotsman after sister paper Scotland on Sunday revealed customers and shareholders were “outraged” by the £5m debt financing package.

HBOS provided the debt financing to a start-up company called Remnant Media, which bought 45 top-shelf magazines from Desmond’s Northern & Shell company for £20m.

The Bank of Ireland has already apologised for its part in the same financing deal with Remnant after protests by Christian and women’s organisations and said it was withdrawing from its part of the deal.

Shane O’Riordain, HBOS head of public relations, told The Scotsman: “We apologise for any offence or embarrassment this may have caused.

We have to recognise there are many different points of view among our stakeholders.

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

However O’Riordain said HBOS would not follow the Bank of Ireland in withdrawing from the financing deal.

By Hamish Mackay

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