Administrators called in at fashion chain Bank

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MORE than 1,500 jobs at fashion chain Bank have been put at risk after the loss-making business went into administration.

Bury-based Bank, which operates 84 stores in towns and cities including Preston, Blackpool, Blackburn, and Wigan, was part of JD Sports Fashion until November.

Deloitte was appointed as administrator yesterday after a review of the business determined that a solvent turnaround would not be possible.

All stores are open as normal and no redundancies have been made while Deloitte considers potential interest in the business from several parties.

Bill Dawson, a partner in Deloitte’s restructuring services practice, said Bank had struggled in a highly competitive segment of the retail industry and had been loss-making for a number of years.

He added that additional sale discounts will be implemented later this week.

Mr Dawson said: “The company has already been approached by several parties who have expressed an interest in the business.

“The administrators are trading as a going concern with a view to progressing these options and seeking further interested parties for some or all of the business.”

Bank was founded by Andy Scott, a former Macclesfield Town footballer, in 1994, and largely sells branded fashion items aimed at the youth market.

JD bought the chain from private equity owners Phoenix Equity Partners and management for £18.5m in 2007.

In November it disposed of the business to HMV owner Hilco, a retail turnaround business, under terms which were not disclosed at the time.