Co-op is only the tip of the ‘ethical banking’ iceberg

He said: “There has been total financial mismanagement and it’s not a problem that can be simply papered over. The Co-Op is rotten to the core, the very principles that it has been built upon have been breached to a spectacular level.

“It isn’t just the Co-Op, the taxpayer funded bank RBS isn’t doing that much better. RBS have to deal with the mess they’re in because The Tomlinson Report has put them in disrepute.”

The Tomlinson Report – prepared by Lawrence Tomlinson, an advisor to business secretary Vince Cable – claimed that RBS profited by pushing businesses into default by moving them into its own Business Restructuring Group (BRG).

Davies said: “The Tomlinson Report doesn’t shock me. In fact, the report has said what I’ve been banging on about for months,” said Mr Davies.

“How can a bank that has been rescued from oblivion by the taxpayer, then turn on those taxpayers and routinely start closing down profitable SMEs? It doesn’t make sense.

“More hypocritical even than that is the tax-payer funded Start-Up Loans programme. Which has dished out £73.7 million of tax-payers money to Start-Ups with – let’s be honest – a high propensity for failure that has to be written off by the tax payer.

“We need some sensible thinking from top to bottom but this must start within the banking sector.

“The once aggressive financial titans ‘ballsed it all up’ and RBS in particular required a huge rescue package from the tax-payer. For them to then flip back into search and destroy mode, wrecking good SMEs and withdrawing loan facilities willy-nilly is bordering on criminal.

“Our banking sector needs a proper wake-up call”