1. ITV Report

Cheshire man charged over business loans

Charges over bank loans Photo: Dominic Lipinski

Eight people, including one from Cheshire, have been charged in connection with business loans made through a high street bank to the value of around £35 million, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Among those charged are former senior managers at HBOS, Lynden Scourfield, 50, and Mark Dobson, 52.

Also charged as part of the same alleged conspiracy to corrupt are David Mills, 56, and Michael Bancroft, 69, of Quayside Corporate Services, a turnaround consultancy, the CPS said.

Thames Valley Police said the charges follow a large-scale investigation into corruption and other offences originating from the Halifax Bank of Scotland branch in Reading, Berkshire.

It follows an investigation carried out by the force's Economic Crime Unit (ECU), after the case was referred to the force by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) because the alleged offences originated from HBOS's Impaired Assets team based at Reading.

Mills, of Todenham, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire; Bancroft, of Ilmington, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire; and Scourfield, of Whitton Avenue West, Greenford, Middlesex, have each been charged with one count of conspiracy to corrupt, three counts of fraudulent trading and one count of money laundering, police said.

Dobson, of Brayfield Terrace, London, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to corrupt, while a fifth man, John Cartwright, 68, of Knott Lane, Hyde, Cheshire, has been charged with one count of fraudulent trading.

The other defendants are three of the men's wives, Jacqueline Scourfield, 50, Alison Mills, 47, and Beverley Bancroft, 64.

Scourfield, of Whitton Avenue West, Greenford, Middlesex; Mills, of Todenham, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire; and Bancroft, of Ilmington, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, have each been charged with one count of money laundering, police said.

All eight defendants will appear before Reading Magistrates' Court on January 18