Bunhill: Friend in need for Mr Smith

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The Independent Online
WALLACE Duncan Smith, the Canadian banker whose family- owned City bank was shut down by the Bank of England, still inspires loyalty despite facing fraud charges in the UK.

Mr Smith, a man with a subterranean profile, is known for just one main interest - giving support and up to pounds 30,000 to the anti-EC Bruges Group. There he received admiration from Patrick Robertson (below), the Oxford drop-out who helped found the group.

Now that the Smiths are down, Mr Robertson is helping out. He is offering a summer job at his new communications (aka PR) company to Michaela Smith, one of Mr Smith's three children, who is currently on hols from studying for her degree at Aberdeen University.

Meanwhile Mr Smith is thought to have moved out of high-priced Kensington to Putney.

Another aspect of the Smith affair is whether his bank, Wallace Smith Trust, is another supervisory triumph for the Bank of England. The Old Lady closed down the bank, where assets of pounds 100m are missing, only last year. But the charges against Mr Smith allege fraudulent trading between January 1980 and April 1991.

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