Bank worker sued for missing £1.77m

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The Independent Online

The financial services company Allied Dunbar is suing a former employee for £1.77m they allege has disappeared from a subsidiary bank where she worked.

The financial services company Allied Dunbar is suing a former employee for £1.77m they allege has disappeared from a subsidiary bank where she worked.

A High Court writ has been issued by the company against Beryl Rowlands, in relation to the misappropriation of funds from its Dunbar Bank subsidiary over 10 years.

Mrs Rowlands, described by police as a "respectable middle-class woman with a family", was questioned by Wiltshire fraud squad detectives in June, then released on police bail pending further inquiries. No criminal charges have been laid in connection with the case. Mrs Rowlands, who lives near Swindon, was immediately suspended from her executive job by the company.

The investigation was launched on 9 June after routine checks. Allied Dunbar said yesterday it was sure no customers' money was missing. A spokeswoman said: "The civil action is standard procedure - we have a duty to identify and recover as much of the money as we can. Dunbar Bank remains convinced that no client monies were involved."

According to the writ, Dunbar Bank's claim against Mrs Rowlands is for breach of contract, breach of duty, breach of trust and trespass to the company's goods. The second part of the writ is similar in nature but names both Mrs Rowlands and her husband, Paul. There is also claim for the possible freezing of the couple's assets.

Nobody was answering the door at the couple's home at Blunsdon Hill in Wiltshire yesterday.

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