Fresh calls for release of Manx bank report

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The Independent Online
FRESH CALLS were made last night for the publication of a report into a pounds 42m collapse of a bank after its managing director and general manager were convicted of fraud.

About 4,000 investors in the Savings and Investment Bank in the Isle of Man lost money when it crashed 10 years ago.

But the 500-page Chadwick Report into the collapse was not published because the managing director, Robert Killin, and general manager, John Cunningham, faced criminal charges.

The two men were among five found guilty of fraud by a jury at Manchester Crown Court yesterday. Killin and Cunningham used the bank's money in a pounds 550,000 fraud involving a land deal in Lancashire.

Gwendoline Lamb, of Middlesbrough, who lost her pounds 30,000 life savings in the bank's crash, called for the immediate publication of the report, which took four years to compile at a cost of pounds 1m.

She also called for full compensation for those who lost money, although many have since died.

'There is now nothing stopping the Manx government from releasing this report,' she said. 'There has been scandalous negligence on the part of the Manx government and the Treasury. They have no alternative but to show honour and integrity and make immediate full refunds.'

An earlier report by Bank of England inspectors heavily criticised the Manx government's supervision of banking on the island at the time of the crash.

Manx MPs later voted for 'modest' ex-gratia payments for investors but shelved the decision until they had seen the Chadwick Report conclusions.

The Manx government's Chief Secretary, Fred Kissack, said last night that the decision on whether to allow publication rested with the island's High Court, which commissioned the report and had been waiting for the mainland trial to finish.

On the assumption that the court would allow publication, 'then we will publish', he said.

Cunningham, 48, of Glasgow, was given a 12-month suspended sentence for conspiracy to defraud at the end of a nine-week trial. Killin, 61, of Southport, Merseyside, will be sentenced later.

Charges against the two and others over the bank's collapse were dropped two years ago when a trial was halted because of the time it had taken to come to court.