Accountancy Age: Chelsea building society chief quits over JDS probe

A spokesman for the building society said Hart, 68, would resign with immediate effect. Under the building society rules, because of his age would have had to have done so next year anyway.

The spokesman said Hart, an English ICA member, planned to devote more time to ‘clearing his name’.

Chelsea Building Society non-executive chairman and chartered accountant Maurice Hart is to face a Joint Disciplinary Scheme tribunal later this year over his role in the accounting irregularities scandal at Queens Moat Houses in the early 1990s.

The tribunal will hear complaints on three separate incidents, following a year-long inquiry.

Hart will face questions about his involvement in the audit of the 1990 Queens Moat Houses accounts conducted by Bird Luckin, the Essex-based firm where he was at that time a partner.Hart left Bird Luckin in 1990 to become a QMH director.

The tribunal will also hear complaints that Hart did not ‘exercise reasonable skill and care in the performance of his duties at QMH, including failure to ensure that the group’s 1991 accounts gave a true and fair view, and were properly prepared in accordance with the Companies Act 1985.

His chairmanship of the QMH board’s audit and remuneration sub-committee will also come under scrutiny.

JDS executive counsel Chris Dickson said: ‘We anticipate that a tribunal will sit to hear the case later this year.’

Chelsea, the UK’s eighth largest building society, last month rejected outright a merger approach from Totalise, an internet services provider.

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