Watchdog: We were right to back Paul Flowers

The man who gave the green light to the appointment disgraced former Co-op chairman Reverend Paul Flowers yesterday said he “stands by” his decision.

Clive Adamson told MPs it was clear Flowers had no banking experience – but that he needed a big personality to whip the bank’s “large and unruly board” into shape.

The regulator made Flowers appoint two banking experts as his deputies to compensate for his own lack of technical knowledge. However, that backfired when Flowers and the rest of the board over-ruled those deputies to vote in favour of the ill-fated attempt to buy 632 branches from Lloyds.

Andrew Tyrie, who heads the Treasury Select Committee of MPs, said the Financial Services Authority’s decision to approve Flowers in 2010 was "negligent and wrong."

Adamson is now the Financial Conduct Authority’s director of supervision.