News March 2015 Formal complaint against Mr Mark Woodbridge

Formal complaint against Mr Mark Woodbridge

24 March 2015

PN 18/15

The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) Executive Counsel has delivered a disciplinary Formal Complaint in connection with the conduct of Mark Woodbridge, former Group Financial Accountant of Torex Retail plc.

The Complaint alleges that the conduct of Mr Woodbridge fell significantly short of the standards reasonably to be expected of a Member and has brought discredit to him and to the accountancy profession in that he has been convicted by Oxford Crown Court of the criminal offences of false accounting and conspiracy to defraud.

An independent Disciplinary Tribunal will be appointed to hear the Formal Complaint.

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.

2. In relation to disciplinary 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 are:
  • Decision to investigate
  • Investigation
  • Decision whether to bring disciplinary 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

3. 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.

4. Investigations are conducted by Executive Counsel and the Professional Discipline team within the Conduct Division. If disciplinary proceedings are commenced, Executive Counsel delivers a complaint to the Conduct Committee. The Conduct Committee then instructs the Convener to appoint a Disciplinary Tribunal.