Former Co-operative Bank CFO admits misconduct

The former chief financial officer and chief executive of the Co-operative Bank has admitted misconduct in a settlement agreement.

ICAEW member Barry Tootell has agreed to exclusion of his membership for six years and will pay a £20,000 payment towards the FRC Executive Councel costs.

The misconduct came from adverse findings made by the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) in respect of Tootell’s responsibilities, set out in the PRA’s Final Notice of 14 January 2016. The findings were evidence of misconduct under the FRC’s independent Accountancy Scheme.

Gareth Rees, executive counsel to the FRC, said: “The period of exclusion sends a clear message to accountants of the high standards of professional conduct expected when undertaking important business roles. Mr Tootell engaged in the FRC’s settlement process by accepting his misconduct which has led to a considerable saving of time and cost.”

Between 1 January 2009 and 10 May 2013, Mr Tootell breached Statement of Principle 6 of the Statements of Principle and Code of Practice for Approved Persons. This states that an approved person performing an accountable function must exercise due skill, care and diligence in managing the firm for which he is responsible.

Also between 22 July 2009 and 10 May 2013, Mr Tootell was knowingly concerned in the contravention by Co-op Bank of Principle 3 of the Principles of Business. This is because he failed to take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs responsibly and effectively, with adequate risk management systems.

The parties have agreed to settlement terms of the membership exclusion and the payment of Counsel costs which has been approved by a legal member of the independent tribunal panel.

The investigation in relation to KPMG Audit and the audit of the financial statements of Co-op Bank is ongoing.

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