It seems so long ago ... Allen Stanford and Giles Clarke in happier times © Getty Images
ECB chairman Giles Clarke's assertion two days ago that the board "carried out due diligence prior to making their long-term agreement with Stanford" will come under renewed scrutiny after a former associate of the billionaire accused it of "naivety".

John Fuller, an Antiguan lawyer who worked with Stanford, told the BBC that anyone wanting to look into his former associate's background "wouldn't have to dig very far to raise concerns".

"His bank were offering interest rates which were much higher than anyone else. He didn't have any apparent income [in Antigua] other than a small amount of money from two restaurants he has and a health spa. He was spending a lot of money on land, private jets and cricket. But the income was not visible. It gave rise to concerns among many of us here.

"It would have been very, very easy [to raise concerns]. All you would have needed to do is talk to a banker here, or any of the leading accounting firms or law firms who don't represent him. You would have come to the conclusion, 'I wonder if we should be associated with this person'?"

In another interview with the BBC, international fraud expert Jeffrey Robinson claimed that suspicions about Stanford could be traced back to the mid 1990s. "I know, personally, because I have discussed it with them, a number of law enforcement agencies in the United States, plus a number of prosecutors who have been looking at Mr Stanford for the past 15 years," he said.

Fuller and Robinson's remarks will fuel increasing pressure on Clarke and ECB chief executive David Collier. The pair have been almost universally condemned in the media, but they appear to retain the support of the majority of the counties.