Former Morrisons treasurer charged with insider dealing

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A former executive at supermarket chain Morrisons has been charged with two offences of insider dealing.

Paul Gerard Coyle, the former treasurer and head of tax at the Bradford-based supermarket business, is charged with offences relating to the trading in Ocado Group plc shares between February and May 2013, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed.

Ocado is an independent online grocer.

Morrisons also confirmed the charges yesterday and quickly distanced themselves from the charges, saying that Mr Coyle, 50, was “acting alone”.

A spokesman for the firm said: “The FCA’s insider dealing investigation did not concern Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc nor any other Morrisons’ employee.

“Morrisons is satisfied with its governance and procedures concerning the handling of market sensitive data in this case and found that the company’s procedures had been properly followed.

“These accusations, if proven, would be the result of an individual acting alone.”

A spokesperson for the City regulator said Mr Coyle was initially arrested at his home in Harrogate on December 12 last year and was bailed.

But he reappeared at Harrogate police station yesterday and was formally charged with breaching Section 52(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1993.

The FCA said Mr Coyle, who was released on police bail, is due to appear at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court in relation to the offences on Thursday, October 30.