ICAEW bars ex-hotel group director.

Maurice Hart, former chairman of the Chelsea Building Society, has been thrown out of the ICAEW and ordered to pay #50,000 costs for his role in an accounting scandal at hotel group Queens Moat Houses.

An accountants’ Joint Disciplinary Tribunal last week found ‘the professional or business conduct, efficiency or competence of Hart fell below that which was reasonably to be expected’.

Hart, 69, a former partner in Essex-based firm Bird Luckin, had been audit partner for QMH from 1972 to 1991. On his retirement from practice he became a director of QMH.

News last year that the Joint Disciplinary Scheme was undertaking an investigation prompted Hart to resign immediately as chairman of Chelsea Building Society to ‘clear his name’.

In 1991, Bird Luckin signed off QMH’s accounts with a reported pre-tax profit of #94.1m. The tribunal found that in fact the profit was the result of ‘inappropriate accounting policies or the misapplication of the accounting policies stated in QMH’s accounts’.

In March 1993, QMH’s listing was suspended at the company’s request.

Under new management, the accounts for that year reported a loss of #1,040.5m.

Chelsea Building Society chairman quits over JDS probe

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