De La Rue to take £35m hit from note slip

 
City A.M. Reporter
CURRENCY printer De La Rue faces a hit of at least £35m to first-half profit and a possible fraud investigation following the falsification of banknote quality certificates by staff.

Updating on its investigation into production errors at its banknote plant in southern England the firm said yesterday the behaviour of some of its staff was “totally unacceptable”.

De La Rue has reported its findings to the relevant law enforcement agencies and taken “appropriate disciplinary action”.

A company spokesman declined to say if any employees had been dismissed but said the managing director of the currency division had left.

A spokesman for the Serious Fraud Office said the agency had been contacted by the company.

“The company has reported some concerns to us. We’ve noted those concerns, we are alert to them and we will have further discussions with the company,” he said.

Banknote paper specifications have a large number of detailed parameters and the company’s investigation found in certain cases that a small number of them failed to meet the required standard.

The spokesman for De La Rue, which is involved in the production of over 150 national currencies, declined to name the customers involved, say how many staff were implicated or comment on their motives.

The £35m hit relates to stock write-offs, professional fees, rectification and production trial costs, and some slippage of currency volumes into the second half. De La Rue said it was too early to assess the financial impact for the full year and future years.