The former chairman of the Co-Operative Bank, one of the U.K.'s biggest retail banks, has been caught buying cocaine in a U.K.tabloid newspaper sting.
Paul Flowers, a Methodist minister, was filmed by an acquaintance he met through gay dating app Grindr paying £300 for cocaine, just days after he appeared in front of an influential committee of U.K. politicians to help explain why a proposed tie-up between the Co-op bank and Lloyds did not work out. He was also filmed talking about taking ketamine and crystal meth, and the acquaintance said he also discussed smoking crack cocaine.
The Co-op Bank planned to buy hundreds of Lloyds Bank branches but was forced to pull out of the deal in April. At the time, the bank, which prides itself on its ethical policies, said that the economic environment was to blame – but has since admitted a £1.5 billion capital shortfall and announced a restructure of its debt. Flowers left the bank in June after the collapse of the deal, dubbed Project Verde.