FSA issues £109,000 fine and bans ex-Royal Liver Assurance director

REGULATORS have banned George McGregor, the former finance director of Royal Liver Assurance (RLA), for abusing his position and ­– in one case – forging the signature of his chief executive.

However even though the Financial Services Authority (FSA) determined that his conduct “merited a fine of £1,000,000” the regulator reduced the sum to £109,000 due to McGregor’s full co-operation with the investigation and because it did not want to “cause serious financial hardship”.

Between May 2009 and November 2009 the former director subverted his firm’s control systems by entering into contracts on behalf of RLA with two companies which were controlled by a former employee of RLA.

McGregor then negotiated a bonus for the former employee but thought that the amount he had agreed would not be approved by RLA’s Board.

McGregor therefore sought to conceal the level of bonus by entering into the two contracts to pay substantial sums to the former employee’s companies.

This resulted in RLA paying at least £3.6m to the firms and incurring a possible contractual liability of up to £18m.

Tracey McDermott, the FSA’s acting director of enforcement and financial crime, said: “McGregor abused his position of responsibility and engaged in a dishonest, deliberate and sustained course of misconduct. McGregor failed to act with integrity and is not a fit and proper person to work in the financial services industry.”