Banker admits £31k scam


By Paul Thornton

A BANK boss has admitted stealing £31,000 of customer’s money because she was having money problems.

Carol Barclay used her position as assistant manager at the HBOS branch at the Gyle Shopping Centre in Edinburgh to transfer money from two customers into a fake account.01carolbarclay

The 45-year-old was suspended after an elderly man noticed thousands of pounds missing from his account.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court Barclay admitted a charge of embezzlement between October 2006 and September 2007.

Fiscal depute Melanie Ward told the court how an elderly man had noticed his balance was lower than expected in September 2007.

He asked his daughter to investigate and it was confirmed he had less money than he should have.

Miss Ward said: “Several thousand pounds were missing from the account.

“A few days later the bank got in touch saying all the missing money had been put back into his account and he was advised to attend his branch and change his account numbers as his account had been compromised.”

The complaint triggered an investigation by the internal fraud department of HBOS and in December a formal interview was arranged with Barclay.

She admitted she had been responsible for several transactions made on the customer’s account, as well as another two transactions on another account.

Barclay was immediately suspended and police were called in.

In an interview with officers she again admitted drawing money from the two accounts and said she tried to cover her tracks by opening a false one.

Miss Ward said: “The reason she had done this was due to financial difficulties.”

Barclay said she did not know the two customers whose accounts she had plundered, claiming she had picked them at random.

Her solicitor, Mark Hutchison, said the bank had refunded all the customers’ money and Barclay was looking to pay HBOS back.

Sheriff Alistair Noble deferred sentence until later this month for background reports.

Barclay, of Myre Crescent, Kinghorn, had her bail continued.