The finance director at Eurocity Properties has been sacked following an investigation by the Financial Reporting Review Panel of the company’s accounts. Stephen Pearl was dismissed by the company after it emerged an incentive scheme involving shares for company directors had not been disclosed within audited financial statements. No further action is to be taken against the company after it agreed to include the incentive scheme in its audited statements for the year ending March 2000. Desmond Bloom, chairman of Eurocity, said: ‘I think it was all a storm in a tea cup. Our auditors were kept closely informed. The information omitted should have been there, (but) its omission was not intentional.’ He confirmed the dismissal of the FD and said he believed the company had provided ‘adequate information’ to shareholders. The original complaint, he said, had come from only one shareholder. A statement from the review panel said the problem arose in the accounts for the year to March 1999 and involved an incentive scheme that provided for certain directors to receive new ordinary shares at a price of 80p. The panel said: ‘The disclosure should have been made within the audited financial statements rather than in the un-audited director’s report and should have disclosed the number of shares each director is to receive.’ In general, if a company is found to have breached the 1985 Companies Act, as Eurocity did in this case, the panel has the power to make an application to the courts for an order forcing revision of company accounts.
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