Business briefs: Co-op | FCA | John Lewis | Faroe

The recently-appointed head of the Co-operative Group, Euan Sutherland, has joined the board of the mutual’s bank as it finalises its rescue plans.

Sutherland has taken up a non-executive role at the Co-op Bank, where bondholders have been asked to help plug a £1.5 billion hole in its finances

Sutherland last month wrote to Co-op members to reassure them over the mutual’s future and to defend a painful rescue of its banking arm. Although some investors had suggested the group should carry the full burden of the rescue, he stressed the mutual also has responsibilities to its members.

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• The City watchdog has fined the British arm of a Nigerian bank £525,000 for “particularly serious” failings in its anti-money laundering controls.

Guaranty Trust Bank, which opened its London office in 2008, did not carry out checks on “politically exposed persons” and its lack of action “resulted in an unacceptable risk of handling the proceeds of crime”, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said yesterday.

The FCA said the bank had also failed to establish the source of funds held by its “higher risk” customers between May 2008 and June 2010.

• John Lewis has unveiled a rise in sales for last week, but many of its stores in the south of England struggled to compete against last year’s numbers, when trading was boosted by the London Olympics.

Sales grew 4.4 per cent to £66.1 million in the week to

3 August, boosted by demand for electrical gadgets. Aberdeen was among its strongest branches, with sales up 7.6 per cent, while Edinburgh rose

7 per cent and Glasgow edged up 2.9 per cent. However, takings at its Stratford branch, next to the Olympic village, plunged

43.4 per cent year on year.

• Oil driller Faroe Petroleum has completed its acquisition of a

10 per cent stake in the

East Foinaven field to the west of Shetland from Japanese trading house Marubeni for $22.5 million (£14.5m).

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The total amount paid by the Aberdeen-based firm was lower than the $32m agreed in September due to adjustments for the sale of oil from the field since the deal was struck.

Earlier this week, Marubeni bought a 25 per cent stake in Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable Power, which is developing a wind farm off the coast of Fife.