Building society FD lied about ACA qualification

Link: Scarborough FD guilty of £100,000 theft

Gerald Waterworth, who worked for Scarborough Building Society until he was suspended in February this year, last week pleaded guilty to theft and false accounting offences involving around £200,000.

But even though the Scarborough’s annual report for 2001 described Waterworth as an ACA, the ICAEW said it had no record of his membership. ‘It is a legal requirement to be a member of the institute if you call yourself an ACA,’ said an institute spokesman.

Waterworth, of Hall Park Road, Scalby, Scarborough, had taken more than £100,000 from the building society to cover up thefts of a similar amount from his local Citizens Advice Bureau, of which he was the volunteer treasurer. ‘We understood that he was a member of the ICAEW,’ John Carrier, the society’s chief executive told Accountancy Age this week.

Carrier confirmed the society had not pursued the matter after it had come to light. ‘That is a matter for the institute and Gerald Waterworth,’ he said.

Carrier added that the building society had fully reviewed all its procedures to prevent any possible recurrence.

The society’s last annual report revealed that Waterworth had been paid £77,000 in salary plus a bonus of £17,000 in his last full year in the job.

Investor groups have been angered by the apparent breakdown of internal controls at the society.

‘I will be in touch with John Carrier to raise some of the concerns raised by Gerald Waterworth’s conviction,’ said Steve Huxham, Investors Association spokesman.

Waterworth is to be sentenced next month. He was not available for comment.

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