AN instruction to remove financial information linked to Redwood Bank was mistakenly kept in a council report.

The council has paid almost £30 million for a 33 per cent stake in the bank.

The audit and corporate governance committee was due to meet at the Town Hall on March 18 but it was cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In a report in the agenda for the meeting, Lynton Green, the council’s director of corporate services, said Redwood Bank continues to operate well and very close to the business plan.

But he stated the provisional position for the bank at the end of the 2019 financial year was an £88,000 ‘variation to budget’.

This was followed by a request ‘not to include this bit in report’. However, it was mistakenly left in, although it has since been removed after officers were alerted to the error.

In his report, Mr Green said: “The provisional position for the bank at the end of the 2019 financial year is very close to the current business plan. (It was an £88k variation to budget – not to include this bit in report).”

The council has released a statement on the issue.

A spokesman said: “There are some details we are normally able to disclose publicly and other details which are subject to commercial confidentiality.

“The inclusion of this figure is an oversight.

“It is not a case of the council not being transparent – the information relates to a legally binding and confidential agreement.”

The council also insists it is not concerned about the provisional position for the bank presenting an £88,000 variation to the budget.

In his report, Mr Green said the bank now has more than 3,000 business customers and has provided over £170 million in business loans in just over two years of trading.

He added: “The council’s external auditor, Grant Thornton, is still in the process of reviewing an objection raised by a Warrington resident in relation to the council’s financial accounts regarding the council’s investment (in) Redwood Bank.”