Between January 2012 and 11 February 2014, Mr Ratcliffe as supervisor of two individual voluntary arrangements did not issue a notice of breach notice in a timely manner.
Having considered the investigation report, the complainants’ and member’s representations, the committee found there was a prima facie case in respect of this complaint. As a consequence, the committee decided that Mr Ratcliffe has performed his professional work inefficiently or incompetently to such an extent as to bring discredit on himself, the Institute or the profession of accountancy.
Taking into account all circumstances, the committee decided that Mr Ratcliffe should be asked to consent to the making of an order that he be reprimanded, fined £1,000 and pay costs. In reaching its decision, the Committee had regard to the common sanctions guidance which indicates, for a matter of this nature, a starting point of a reprimand and a fine of £2,500.
The committee took into account though that Mr Ratcliffe had accepted the cases were not progressed satisfactorily and had taken steps to avoid this situation arising again. A recent QAD visit had not brought up any concerns about case progression. The committee therefore decided taking mitigation into account, that a reprimand and fine of £1,000 was appropriate.
Following the finding of a prima facie case, on 15 September 2016, with the agreement of Mr Gerard Nicholas Ratcliffe, the Investigation Committee ordered that he be reprimanded, fined £1,000 and pay costs.