Rates of remission in obese patients with long-standing type 2 diabetes (>2 years), following an adjustable gastric band are unclear. We conducted a retrospective case–control study of patients (n = 89) matched for age and body mass index with non-surgical controls. Cases had a longer duration of diabetes (99 ± 53 and 80 ± 59 months, p < 0.05) and a lower HbA1c than controls (7.9 ± 1.6 vs. 8.5 ± 1.9%, p < 0.05). At follow-up (median 105 weeks) cases had lost 16.8 ± 13.5 kg and controls 1.7 ± 8.9 kg (p < 0.001) and HbA1c decreased by 0.6–0.8% (p < 0.001 for time) with no difference between cases and controls. Diabetes resolution, defined by HbA1c less than 6.5% and taking no medications, occurred in 14 (16%) cases and 2 controls. This is in contrast to published outcomes of resolution of type 2 diabetes after bariatric surgery. We conclude that there is a clear need for randomized studies of the effect of gastric banding in patients with long-standing type 2 diabetes.