Morrisons ex-finance chief charged with insider dealing

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A SENIOR Morrisons employee has been charged with insider dealing insider following the Yorkshire supermarket group’s tie-in with the online grocery business Ocado.

Paul Coyle, former group treasurer and head of tax at the Bradford-based supermarket, was held last December at his home in Harrogate, as part of an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Today it was revealed he has been charged with two offences of insider dealing relating to trading in Ocado Group shares between February and May 2013, before the public announcement of a 25-year deal which saw Morrisons acquiring Ocado’s distribution centre in Warwickshire for £170 million, and the use of its online delivery technology.

Morrisons confirmed the charges today and said Mr Coyle was “acting alone”.

A spokesman 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.