News January 2017 Formal Complaint against Mr John Shannon, Mr Raymond Flynn and Mr Matthew Boyle, relating to AssetCo

Formal Complaint against Mr John Shannon, Mr Raymond Flynn and Mr Matthew Boyle, relating to AssetCo plc

25 January 2017
PN 4/17

The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) Executive Counsel has delivered a disciplinary Formal Complaint in connection with the conduct of John Shannon (former Chief Executive Officer, AssetCo plc), Raymond Flynn (former Chief Financial Officer, also known as ‘Frank Flynn’) and Matthew Boyle (former Financial Controller) in relation to the preparation and approval of AssetCo plc’s financial statements for the financial years ended 31 March 2009 and 31 March 2010.

The Formal Complaint contains multiple allegations against each of Mr Shannon, Mr Flynn and Mr Boyle. It alleges that (amongst other things) they acted dishonestly or recklessly and breached the fundamental principles of integrity and objectivity in the manner in which they prepared the financial statements, and that their conduct fell significantly short of the standards reasonably to be expected of members of Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI). The complaint covers a wide range of issues which pervaded the financial statements.

All Respondents are members of CAI.

Notes to editors:

  1. The FRC is responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment.  We are the UK competent authority for audit and set the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes as well as UK standards for accounting, auditing and actuarial work.  We represent UK interests in international standard-setting.  We also monitor and take action to promote the quality of corporate reporting and auditing.  We operate independent enforcement arrangements for accountants and actuaries; and oversee the regulatory activities of the accountancy and actuarial professional bodies.
  2. In relation to enforcement matters, the FRC is the independent, investigative and disciplinary body for accountants and actuaries in the UK dealing with cases which raise important issues affecting the public interest. In brief, the stages of the disciplinary process under the Accountancy Scheme are:
  •  Decision to investigate
  •  Investigation
  •  Decision whether to bring enforcement proceedings against Member Firm or Member and, if so  decided, referral to Disciplinary Tribunal
  •  Tribunal hearing
  •  Determination and imposition of sanction and/or costs orders
Under the Accountancy Scheme the FRC can start a disciplinary investigation in one of two ways: (i) the professional bodies can refer cases to the FRC; and (ii) the FRC may decide of its own accord to investigate a matter. The Conduct Committee will consider each case identified or referred to it and decide whether or not the criteria for an investigation are met.
The criteria are specified in paragraph 5(1) of the Accountancy Scheme. A Member or Member Firm shall be liable to investigation under this Scheme only where, in the opinion of the Conduct Committee the matter raises or appears to raise important issues affecting the public interest in the United Kingdom and there are reasonable grounds to suspect that there may have been Misconduct or it appears that the Member or Member Firm has failed to comply with any of his or its obligations under paragraphs 14(1) or 14(2) of the Scheme.

Investigations are conducted by Executive Counsel and the Enforcement division.