Harrogate man charged with insider trading at Morrisons

A senior Morrisons employee from Harrogate has been charged with insider dealing.

Paul Coyle, who lives in the town and has been on the board of trustees for Saint Michael’s Hospice, is a former group treasurer and head of tax at the Bradford-based supermarket.

He was held last December at his home in Harrogate, as part of an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The authority confirmed on its website today (Monday, September 29) that he has now been charged with two offences of insider dealing relating to trading in Ocado Group plc shares between February and May 2013.

This came 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.

In a statement a spokesman for Morrisons said: “Following his arrest in 2013, a former employee Paul Coyle, has today been charged by the FCA with allegations of insider dealing.

“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.”

Insider dealing is punishable by a fine or up to seven years in prison.