Belfast Telegraph

Former Co-operative Bank chief executive Barry Tootell admits misconduct

The former chief executive of the Co-operative Bank has admitted misconduct and forked out £20,000 as part of a settlement agreement with the accountancy watchdog.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said Barry Tootell would pay towards FRC's legal costs and has agreed to be banned from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) for six years.

The move comes after the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) found that Mr Tootell had breached part of the Statements of Principle and Code of Practice for Approved Persons between 2009 and 2013.

Mr Tootell was also linked to the Co-op bank's violation of the Principles of Business when the lender failed to take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs responsibly.

The action comes after the Co-op bank nearly collapsed in 2013 after a £1.5 billion black hole was discovered in its balance sheet.

Gareth Rees QC, executive counsel to the FRC, said: "The period of exclusion imposed in this case sends a clear message to accountants of the high standards of professional conduct expected of them when undertaking important roles within business.

"The sanction reflects the significance of the misconduct by a CFO and CEO of a major UK bank, and the need to promote public and market confidence in the accountancy profession and the quality of corporate reporting in this sector."

Mr Tootell, who was also the Co-op bank's ex chief financial officer, was banned by the Bank of England in January from holding senior roles in the financial services industry for life.