Bank worker sacked after £50k scam


By Paul Thornton

A BANKER was sacked after he conned HBOS out of £50,000 by setting up fake overdrafts in bogus accounts.4-sheriff-court1

Branch assistant manager Greig Smith, 29, set up 66 fictitious bank accounts before funnelling the cash into his own.

His scam was busted when auditors noticed unusual activity on the computer system Smith, who had worked for HBOS for six years, was using.

And when further investigations revealed the hustle, Smith admitted everything and the police were called in.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court he admitted obtaining £50,000 from the HBOS group between September 2006 and May 2007.

Fiscal depute John Kirk told the court how Smith had been working as an assistant manager at the Whitehouse Road branch of Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Mr Kirk said: “He opened various bank accounts taking details of existing accounts and mixing up the details to create fictitious accounts.

“He then took advantage of a scheme to create overdrafts and having done that he made off with the sum liabled in the indictment.”

But the group’s auditors, based in Rosyth, Fife, cottoned on to the scam and launched an investigation into Smith’s dealings.

Mr Kirk said: “As part of a routine audit the HBOS team became aware that the accused’s computer access code was being used more often that would be expected.

“He was dismissed and the matter was reported to police. In an interview with police officer he accepted what he had done.”

Mr Kirk added: “The bank itself was the loser here as the money came from fictitious accounts.”

Smith’s solicitor, Alexander Lafferty, said his client had cooked up the scheme after student overdrafts were promoted in the HBOS group.

He added: “The background to his financial problems seems to be a miss management of his finances.

“He had inherited student loans and found credit was easy to come by. He was living beyond his means.”

Sheriff John Horsburgh deferred sentence for background reports and Smith, of Stottencleugh Cottagem Cockburnspath, East Lothian, is to return to court next month.

He was granted bail.