Barings deputy barred over Leeson affair

ANDREW TUCKEY, the former deputy chairman of Barings, the City merchant bank, was yesterday told he was to be disqualified from being a company director because of his failure to act to prevent the bank's collapse at the hands of trader Nick Leeson three years ago.

Mr Justice Parker ruled in the High Court yesterday that Mr Tuckey and two other senior Barings directors, Anthony Gamby and Ron Baker, were "guilty of such incompetence as to be unfit to serve as directors".

The length of the ban, which under the terms of the 1986 Company Directors Disqualification Act could last between two and 15 years, will be decided at a later date. The ban follows an application from Peter Mandelson, the Secretary for Trade and Industry.

Seven other former Barings directors, including the chief executive Peter Norris, have already been banned from serving as company directors for periods of two to five years.

Barings was bankrupted in February 1995 after Leeson, a trader in the bank's Singapore office, made huge losses on unauthorised trading in Japanese stock market futures.

A subsequent investigation by the Bank of England concluded that there was evidence of serious incompetence by senior management. A number of staff were also accused of providing misleading and inadequate information to regulators whose job was to supervise the bank.

Leeson, 31, whose exploits are the subject of a film called Bank Breaker starring Ewan McGregor, has served two-and-a-half years of a six-and- a-half year jail sentence in Singapore's Changi prison. He petitioned in September to be brought back to Britain after being diagnosed with colonic cancer.

Shortly after the events that led to the collapse, Mr Tuckey resigned from the bank which was taken over by the Dutch banking and insurance giant ING for pounds 1. He is believed to be working on a consultancy basis in the City at the London offices of the American stockbroker DLJ. Mr Tuckey is the highest ranking director Barings director to receive a DTI ban

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