Former UK Minister Wants Prince Andrew Investigated

( )- A former UK government minister is calling for Prince Andrew, Duke of York to be investigated by Parliament over a $2 million loan his banker friend repaid just days after it was taken out.

Norman Baker, a former Liberal Democrat lawmaker made the remarks after Bloomberg reported on transactions related to a 2017 credit application which showed that the loan was approved on the strength of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s reputation even after staff said it was “not in line with the risk appetite of the bank.”

Eleven days after the loan was made, financier David Rowland, a Conservative Party donor, transferred the same sum to Banque Havilland earmarking the money for repayment of the loan. Rowland and his family own the controlling shares in Banque Havilland.

Baker told Bloomberg that the report raises significant questions about both Prince Andrew’s business dealings and “his association with some dubious characters.” Baker believes Parliament should investigate the loan “with some urgency.”

Prince Andrew’s loan, which was taken out in November 2017, was for £1.5 million (or $2 million). It replaced a previous loan for £1.25 million (or $1.68 million). Since 2015, Andrew had extended or increased the loan ten times.

According to Bloomberg, under the 2017 loan, which was taken out with an 8 percent interest rate, Prince Andrew received an extra £250,000 earmarked for “general working capital and living expenses.” Repayment on the loan was set to begin in March 2018, however, it was paid off in eleven days by money that was routed through a Banque Havilland account listed under Albany Reserves. According to company filings, David Rowland is Albany Reserves’ director.

According to Newsweek, a spokesperson for Prince Andrew refused to comment on the Bloomberg story, arguing that the Duke of York is due a “degree of privacy in conducting his entirely legitimate, personal financial affairs.”

A spokesperson for Banque Havilland told Newsweek that the bank cannot comment on the matter, citing “relevant laws and regulations.” The spokesperson “categorically denied” the allegations and said the bank’s “foremost priority” is complying with legal and regulatory requirements.