News June 2015 Mark Woodbridge, a former member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Mark Woodbridge, a former member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

10 June 2015

PN 36/15

A hearing of the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) will consider a Formal Complaint against Mark Woodbridge, a former Member of ACCA.  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.  The convictions relate to the interim financial statement for Torex Retail plc, of which Mr. Woodbridge was the Group Financial Accountant, for the period ended 30 June 2006.

The matter is listed to be heard on Friday 10 July 2015 at 10.30 am for one day. The hearing relates to the investigation notified in FRC Notice (PN 18/15) of 24 March 2015. 

The hearing will take place at The International Dispute Resolution Centre Limited, 70 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1EU.

Notes to editors:

1. The FRC is responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment.  It sets the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes as well as UK standards for accounting, auditing and actuarial work.  The FRC represents UK interests in international standard-setting.  It also monitors and takes action to promote the quality of corporate reporting and auditing.  It operates independent disciplinary arrangements for accountants and actuaries; and oversees 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 a Member Firm or Member and, if so decided, referral to Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Tribunal hearing
  • Determination and imposition of sanction and/or costs orders

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.

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.

3. Disciplinary complaints filed following an investigation are heard by an independent Tribunal which will normally sit in public. If the Tribunal upholds a complaint, there is a wide range of sanctions which it can impose including an unlimited fine, exclusion from membership of a professional body covered by one of the Schemes and withdrawal of practising certificates or licences.

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