The Financial Conduct Authority has ruled that an audit opinion from a bank that audited a company is not legally binding, after it found that one of the bank’s directors had misappropriated $100,000.
The regulator also found that a former director was not legally bound by a £2.5 million bonus he had received from the bank.
It was only a few months ago that the regulator said that the bank had breached a rule in a financial institution’s audit that stated directors could not be bound by bonuses in excess of £2,500.
The bank has since apologised and paid the £2m to its former director.
The regulator said it found a breach of the rule after reviewing the bank accounts of three former directors of a major bank and two directors of other financial institutions, who had been awarded bonuses of more than £2 million.
The auditors found that some of the directors had transferred the money into their own bank accounts, while others had transferred it to offshore accounts.
They found that in some cases, the directors of some banks were also transferring the money to the offshore accounts of others.
This was a serious breach of regulation and we have acted swiftly and decisively to ensure that these actions do not happen again.
However, the regulator added that it did not see any legal basis for the director to have been bound by the bonus he received from HSBC.
The former director, who was not named in the regulator’s report, was allowed to remain as a director of the firm.
HSBC said it had apologised and reimbursed the regulator for its costs.
The company also said it would publish its audit opinion and report on the bank in the coming weeks.
Read moreThe regulator’s decision came a week after the regulator, which was set up to investigate and prosecute financial crimes, ruled that a bank audit of an independent company was not legal because it was not part of the audit.
“The conduct of the auditors in their conduct of their work is not the subject of this report,” the regulator ruled in a report on Wednesday.
“The auditors have not breached any rules of the Financial Conduct Act, nor did they breach any other rules.”
However, Mr Higgs, the former director of HSBC, said the regulator should have examined the auditing of HSBC as a whole, rather than focusing on a particular bank.
“We know the bank has a lot of problems,” he said.
“What I’m hoping is that in the future the regulator looks at what happened with the audit of HSBC and the audited accounts.”
HSBC has said it will publish its final report on its audit in the next few weeks.