The chief executive of Bradford & Bingley was likened yesterday by MPs investigating the collapse of the mortgage lender to the weather forecaster who missed the 1987 hurricane.

John McFall, chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, accused Richard Pym of making misleadingly confident statements only two days before the bank submitted to a state-backed rescue.

'Is it fair to describe yourself as the financial services industry's Michael Fish?' McFall asked. 'You were struck down by a storm and a hurricane that took everything away.'

The reference was to the Met Office weatherman who, during a BBC weather forecast in 1987, dismissed suggestions that a hurricane was on the way - hours before it devastated southern Britain.

The Times