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
News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
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

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all