Though Pat Robertson will not be a partner in the automated U.S. bank that Bank of Scotland had planned to form with him, it is not clear he will play no role.
The televangelist and Peter Burt, Bank of Scotland's chief executive, met Friday in Boston and issued a statement saying "external circumstances" had made the joint venture "unfeasible."
But the three-sentence statement also said the Scottish bank would acquire the assets of Robertson Financial Services, which Mr. Robertson had formed to own his portion of the venture.
Bank of Scotland and a spokesman for Mr. Robertson declined to elaborate, but the Sunday Telegraph of London estimated Mr. Robertson would be paid $50 million.
The Scottish bank said it would continue to organize the U.S. bank on its own but did not say what role, if any, Mr. Robertson would have in it. He had been slated to be chairman.
Without him and his lists of millions of followers, the proposed bank would have little value.
Some analysts asked why Bank of Scotland would buy Robertson Financial, whose only asset is Mr. Robertson's appeal to his admirers. The three- sentence statement said only that the acquisition would be made "under the terms provided for in the contract."
Mr. Robertson and Bank of Scotland had announced in early March that they were planning to create the equivalent of an "affinity bank," similar to affinity credit cards that appeal to members of specific groups.
The proposed bank was to be primarily a marketing venture, encouraging people sympathetic with Mr. Robertson's ideas to use telephones, automated teller machines, and electronic transfers to do their business. The bank would have had virtually no brick-and-mortar.
M&I Data Services of Milwaukee, a unit of Marshall & Ilsley Corp. that specializes in providing computer services to banks, was to have been a key player, running the back office. M&I planned to hire 300 people to service the bank.
The termination of the joint-venture arrangement was expected after several large Bank of Scotland customers threatened to withdraw their accounts because of Mr. Robertson's association with conservative political causes, such as his leadership of the Christian Crusade.
The evangelist raised a firestorm last month when he chastised Scotland on his "700 Club" television show as being too tolerant of homosexuality and called it a "dark land."