Former Prime Minister David Cameron lobbied Lloyds bank to change a decision to slash ties with ailing Greensill Capital, it has been reported.
Cameron reached out to a board member whom he had ennobled during his Downing Street stint, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
The newspaper cited “people familiar with the matter” as saying the ex-PM contacted a Lloyds’ director, Lord James Lupton, in January. Cameron succeed in trying to convince Lloyds to continue working with Greensill.
Lupton was Conservative treasurer from 2013 to 2016, and has injected more than £3m to the party in donations and was appointed to the House of Lords in 2015.
Prior to the collapse of the financial services company in March, the bank had suggested it would halt business with Greensill. This would have threatened a supply-chain finance scheme for NHS pharmacies run by Greensill that depended on Lloyd’s for funding.
The bank decided to continue funding the pharmacies for a period of time, following Cameron’s intervention, the Financial Times’ sources said.
Although Lupton had made clear his relationship with Cameron, bank insiders said the intervention was “surprising and unwelcome,” according to the newspaper.
Lloyds said the decision to continue was “made on the usual commercial basis and in recognition of the importance of maintaining this facility for the NHS during the height of the pandemic.”
“This programme ended following the administration of Greensill, with the bank repaid in full. There were no losses to the NHS, the pharmacies supplying them or Lloyds Banking Group,” it added.
Greensill, David Cameron and Lupton declined to comment when approached by the newspaper.