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Bank manager diverted loan cash

A bank manager in Scotland has been jailed for 13 months for defrauding customers out of more than £22,000.

Susan Burnett, 40, who had managed TSB branches in Kircaldy and High Street, Edinburgh, admitted embezzlement and fraud charges when she appeared before Edinburgh Sheriff Court recently.

The court heard that Burnett, with an address in Dalgety Bay, Fife, had told one customer, a woman in her 60s, that she could help sort her finances out.

Instead Burnett made two loan applications in her name for a total of £7,400 and diverted the cash into her own bank account.

Burnett also illegally transferred a further £11,390 from the same woman’s account.

Evidence was also given that Burnett transferred £3,500 from the account of a second woman without her approval.

When the first woman reported that large sums of money were missing from her account, Burnett was called in for interview by the bank and admitted taking the cash. She was dismissed and the police were alerted.

In mitigation, the court was told that Burnett had stolen the money because she had got into debt but now she had sold her house and repaid all the money.

She had worked her way to the top of two bank branches over 18 years but following her dismissal, the only job she could find was in a Chinese restaurant.

Defence lawyer Angus McLennan said Burnett, who had never previously offended, should not be jailed as she had already suffered. He said: “It has been a substantial fall from grace for her.”

But, passing sentence, Sheriff Derrick McIntyre said: “You were the manager of a bank in a senior position of trust. You were not just a bank teller stealing a few hundred pounds. You used your position of trust to facilitate these offences which makes it very grave indeed.”

Sheriff McIntyre said that the 13-month sentence was reduced from 18 months, due to the repayment of the money. He said: “You cannot buy your way out of custody but I am able to mitigate the sentence.”

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