May 21 2013 Latest news:
Tom Bristow, Reporter
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
A Norfolk banker has been jailed after carrying out a seven-year deception, affecting 51 businesses, by moving money from successful companies to failing firms to disguise bad loan decisions he had made.
Peter Nudd, from Martham, fiddled the accounts of firms who had taken out loans with HSBC, stealing £131,000 from a client and pocketing £49,000 for himself, which was spent on Butlins holidays and takeaways.
Working as a commercial manager at HSBC’s offices, in Meridian Business Park, Norwich, the 50-year-old kept some of the businesses affected in the dark by sending them false bank statements.
Yesterday, Nudd was jailed for two years at Norwich Crown Court and released a statement to the EDP, saying how his crimes would “haunt him forever”.
In the statement, married father-of-one Nudd said he deeply regretted his crimes.
He said: “I never thought it would continue for this long and I have struggled to come to terms with this whole chapter in my life.
“I’m glad to be out of the bank and will draw a line under this to move on with my future.
“We have had little if any benefit from this and are in a very difficult financial place.
“I love my family and I hope they forgive me for putting them under huge financial strain.”
Nudd began moving money around the bank’s clients in 2004, thinking he would soon be detected.
But the false accounting continued until February 2011 when a firm called Enviroserve queried why £18,164 had been taken out of its account in three payments.
HSBC brought in an investigator, who found Nudd had moved thousands of pounds from wealthy to struggling firms who he had approved for loans, but could not pay the bank back.
When questioned, Nudd, who joined the bank in 1980, admitted he had been “spinning plates” by moving the sums around the bank’s clients.
HSBC’s loss is estimated at £222,000.
Ross Burrows, mitigating, told the court: “It does have hallmarks of a Robin Hood story, but I think it is more a case of banking pressures which Mr Nudd found himself put under.”
Mr Burrows said Nudd had been out of his depth after being promoted to commercial manager in 2002 and had contemplated suicide after being caught.
He said: “This is an extremely unusual case. He just assumed from the outset when he transferred these funds that it would be picked up immediately.”
The court heard Nudd had not flaunted the £49,000 from the theft and continued to live in a terraced house in Rising Way, Martham, and drive a Vauxhall Astra.
Martin Ivory, prosecuting, described Nudd’s behaviour as “misguided, very foolish and unnecessary”.
He said: “A lot of the money moved round is either to cover his own incompetence or his own concerns.”
Nudd admitted one charge of theft and three of false accounting, and asked for 46 other crimes of false accounting to be dealt with by the court.
Judge Nicholas Coleman told Nudd: “You were in a position where you assumed a high-level of trust.
“We know only too well in this day and age the public expects confidence in those responsible for the management of their financial affairs.”
Despite the deception lasting for seven years, HSBC insisted last night it had “processes in place” to uncover fraud.
A spokesman said: “As soon as any fraudulent activity is identified, we always inform the relevant authorities and in this case the bank has worked closely with Norfolk police and provided appropriate support.
“The bank also has a number of processes in place to enable members of staff to raise and discuss any concerns they have about their role.”
The court ordered Nudd to pay a nominal sum of £1 under the proceeds of crime act.