AN accountant has been paid compensation by a bank after they incorrectly addressed a letter to him.

Former Sheriff of York Peter Brown, whose firm specialises in charity accounts, complained to Lloyds Bank after receiving a letter, which gave the final line of his address as 'York, North Yorkshire'.

Mr Brown said York, which is surrounded by North Yorkshire, was not legally part of the county and should not be included in York’s postal address.

He said that historically, York had always been independent from the surrounding county, except for the brief spell from 1974 to 1995 when it was included in North Yorkshire.

The former Conservative councillor said it had regained its independence almost two decades ago when the unitary authority, City of York Council, was created, and the only connection now was that it shared a police force and fire service with North Yorkshire.

In 1386, Richard II created the city of York in its own right, separate from the Ridings, and set up the office of Sheriff. Since then, every incoming Sheriff has taken an oath to preserve and protect the city.

The part publicly-owned bank, which last month confirmed it plans to return more of the government's 32.7 per cent stake to private investors, has written to Mr Brown apologising for the "frustration an inconvenience" caused by its error.

It said it had verified his address with Royal Mail, and offered to pay him £75 compensation.

Lloyds Bank customer services official David Fellows said: “I have today submitted a request to have your address corrected thoroughly and properly.”