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Ex-Royal Liver FD gets FSA ban but escapes £1m fine

The FSA has banned and fined former Royal Liver Assurance finance director George McGregor £109,000 for signing off unauthorised payments to a former employee totalling approximately £3.6m.

The regulator says McGregor’s misconduct merits a £1m fine but such a high penalty would cause McGregor serious financial hardship.

McGregor was a member of RLA boards from June 2003 to March 2010, first as corporate services director before taking on the finance director role in May 2009.
In April 2010, Money Marketing revealed that RLA had sacked McGregor for sanctioning unauthorised payments and entering into commercial arrangements with a third party.

McGregor was responsible for negotiating the bonus a former RLA employee was due as part of his severance pay. McGregor did not believe the amount of bonus agreed would be approved by the board so sought to conceal it by entering into two contracts with companies controlled by the former employee.

On top of the bonus, the contracts required the companies to provide investment advice to RLA. McGregor states that due to a miscalculation on his part, the fees payable under the contract were 10 times higher than he intended.

McGregor received invoices from the companies dated July 3, 2009 for £1,814,686 and October 1, 2009 for £1,826,868. McGregor realised after receiving the first invoice that he had miscalculated what would be paid under the contracts.

The payments required approval from RLA’s chief executive because they exceeded McGregor’s authorisation limit, which was £500,000 per payment.
McGregor falsified the signature of RLA’s chief executive to facilitate the payments.

Baronworth Investment Services director Colin Jackson says: “Making a mistake on the fees is one thing but to falsify someone’s signature is a different ball game and much more serious.”


Towry non-exec chairman Glyn Jones quits

Towry non-executive chairman Glyn Jones has left the firm after more than five years in the role. Jones, who was appointed in November 2006, will be replaced by non-executive director Gerald Corbett. In October, Towry head of risk and compliance Nick Anderson quit after 13 years at the firm. Towry chief executive Andrew Fisher says: […]

Heath-Lay to take over at B&CE as Griffiths retires

B&CE chief executive Brian Griffiths is retiring in September and will be replaced by director of finance and strategic delivery Patrick Heath-Lay. Chairman Sir John Chilcot says: “Brian has led B&CE for the past 10 years through challenging times within the financial services industry. “We have appointed a successor to the role of chief executive […]

FSA plots stricter regulation on with-profits MVR charges

The FSA has moved to prevent with-profits providers from charging a market value reduction if they suffer liquidity problems as a result of members leaving the fund. Under previous rules, providers were allowed to levy an MVR if their cashflow was hit by large numbers of members leaving a with-profits fund. Under revised rules, published […]


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