Former Co-op Bank boss says his warnings over Verde branch deal were ignored

Former Co-op Bank chief executive Neville Richardson has said that the failed Verde branches deal "was the right deal at the wrong times" and that "the board and CEO of Co-op Group at that time did not accept my warnings and were determined to press ahead. That is why I stepped down."

Richardson said that Project Unity, which took the major areas of the bank and put them under the control of the larger Co-op group as a cost saving exercise caused major disruption.

As part of the project, those who worked in financial services were put under the control of those with no experience in the area. At that time Richardson said that he believed Project Verde "would have disastrous consequences for the organisation".

While he used the word "disastrous" Richardson said that this was pretty dramatic, and that of the losses incurred over the past 18 months, only one third related to Britannia.

He said that at the time of his departure, that there was no capital shortfall at the bank.