BoS links with US evangelist in telephone banking deal

BANK OF SCOTLAND is joining forces with the flamboyant American television evangelist Pat Robertson to launch a new telephone banking venture in the United States.

The operation, to be called the New Foundation Bank, is modelled on Sainsbury's Bank, the joint venture between Bank of Scotland and the supermarket group that pioneered branchless banking in the UK in 1997.

Bank of Scotland will be the majority shareholder in the new venture and provide the know-how, while sub-contracting the operation of the call centre and back office to Marshall & Illsley, a US financial services group based in Wisconsin.

Applications for regulatory approval were filed with the American authorities yesterday.

No final decision had yet been taken on where and when to launch the venture. However, it is expected to be ready for launch within five months, starting probably in the Mid-west, where Dr Robertson has a strong following, before rolling out nationally as demand dictates.

Peter Burt, Bank of Scotland group chief executive, said the venture, if successful, would cost the bank some "tens of millions of dollars" in the first year. "There are no front-end costs. If successful, we will require capital to fund the bank. But it is structured in such a way as to limit the downside."

As with Sainsbury's Bank, the venture will start by offering high-interest deposits before expanding into other products.

Dr Robertson is a controversial figure in the US. A darling of the Christian right, he ran unsuccessfully for president in 1988 on an unashamedly right- wing programme.

He is best known for having founded the Christian Broadcasting Network, a religious television channel that he sold to Rupert Murdoch for $1.5bn in 1997.

Mr Burt said the idea for the venture had come from Bill Hendry, who heads up Bank of Scotland's existing US operations and who first raised the idea with the American TV evangelist a year ago.

Mr Burt said the bank would be managed at arm's length from Dr Robertson's other business activities, adding that it would be improper to mix what is a purely commercial venture with Dr Robertson's "charitable and religious works".

"He has a tremendous track record as a successful entrepreneur," Mr Burt said.

Dr Robertson, whose forebears left Scotland in 1695 - the same year Bank of Scotland was founded by a decree of the Scottish Parliament - said yesterday: "The objective is to provide the American consumer with a bank that is committed to service and value. Bank of Scotland brings unparalleled experience of service-oriented banking combined with a real understanding of the power of branding and marketing in start-up banking operations."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Ed Miliband and David Cameron are neck and neck in the polls
election 2015Armando Iannucci: on how British politics is broken
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Swiss Banking and Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power