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Bankers ban journalist from asking questions

A city editor was banned from a press briefing about a bank’s financial results.

The Scotsman’s Martin Flanagan was denied access to the briefing at Lloyds Banking Group’s London HQ – the only media organisation to be shut out.

The paper says it has led the media in repeatedly questioning whether Lloyds TSB’ takeover of HBOS has been good for both employees and the UK taxpayers.

Lloyds TSB has declined to comment on the paper’s claims.

Scotsman business editor Peter MacMahon wrote: “As far as we can establish, this action is unprecedented in denying a major media organisation the right to question senior figures in a bank which has a substantial interest in Scotland, and large numbers of staff north of the Border.

“Lloyds is a publicly listed company, in which we, as taxpayers, also have a substantial holding.

“The group has not said exactly why it has taken this decision to prevent us being there to ask the questions that will inform our readers about a bank which has posted a £10bn loss.

“However, it is likely to be because of our previous coverage of the bank, and its takeover of HBOS.

“The Scotsman questioned whether the takeover was in the best interests of Scotland.

“It also questioned whether the deal – engineered by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor – was in the interests of consumers who would face a reduction in choice.”