News July 2014 Outcome of disciplinary case against Christopher Willford, member of CIMA

Outcome of disciplinary case against Christopher Willford, member of CIMA

10 July 2014

PN 40/14

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) announces the outcome of the disciplinary case against Christopher Willford, a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), who was the Group Finance Director of Bradford and Bingley plc (BBG). This follows an investigation which was announced on 21 January 2014.

A settlement was agreed between the Executive Counsel to the FRC, Gareth Rees QC, and Mr Willford on 3 July 2014 in respect of adverse findings made in a FCA Final Notice published on 11 December 2013. Between 16 and 19 May 2008 Mr Willford failed to have proper regard to the available financial information and its relevance to the rights issue being planned by BBG and failed to advise the Board appropriately. The adverse findings are conclusive evidence of misconduct by Mr Willford for the purposes of the FRC Accountancy Scheme.

The parties have agreed the following terms of settlement, which have been approved by the Tribunal:

  1. A fine of £13,000 to be paid by Mr Willford. The fine was adjusted by the maximum 35% to reflect Mr Willford’s settlement at the earliest in accordance with the FRC’s Sanctions Guidance.

  2. Mr Willford to receive a reprimand;

  3. A sum of £250 to be paid by Mr Willford for the Executive Counsel’s costs for  the investigation.

Paul George, FRC Executive Director of Conduct said:

“This case shows the high standards of professional conduct expected from accountants who take up executive positions in business.”

Settlement Agreement - Christopher Willford (PDF)

Final Notice - Christopher Willford (PDF)

Notes to editors:

  1. The FRC is responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment.  We 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 disciplinary arrangements for accountants and actuaries; and oversee the regulatory activities of the accountancy and actuarial professional bodies.