FRC files formal complaint against Farepak director

THE FINANCIAL WATCHDOG has filed a disciplinary formal complaint against the chief executive of Farepak’s parent company.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) made the complaint to its disciplinary arm against William Rollason, with a hearing likely to take place in the first half of next year.

ICAEW qualified accountant Rollason is accused of failing to act in accordance with the institute’s ethical code and allowing his conduct to fall short of the standards expected of members.

Rollason joined Farepak’s parent company European Home Retail (EHR) in 2003 as chief executive also taking a board role at the Christmas savings business Farepak.

However, he faces allegations from the FRC that he misled fellow directors on the financial position of EHR and its ability to support Farepak as its liabilities fell due. He is also accused of signing off on financial statements which he knew were misleading in 2005.

Farepak collapsed in 2006, depriving more than 100,000 customers of their Christmas savings. A case against the directors brought by the Insolvency Service, earlier this year, collapsed after the presiding judge blamed Farepak’s bank, HBoS, and not the directors. The bank, now Lloyds, donated £8m to the Farepak compensation scheme.

E&Y are facing similar proceedings from the FRC for its role as auditor in Farepak; its case is also likely to be heard in the first half of next year.

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