Northern Ireland

Bank of Ireland official filmed discussing fraudulent claim

John Conway
Image caption The footage was recorded by County Tyrone businessman John Conway

A Bank of Ireland employee was secretly filmed discussing a fraudulent insurance claim as a way to recoup losses surrounding a collapsed business.

John Conway, who ran Meteor Electrical in Cookstown, recorded the footage.

He provided the material to BBC NI's Spotlight programme.

The employee, Kelley Toner, who subsequently left the bank, was filmed saying: "All I am going to say, you will be visiting me in prison."

After Meteor collapsed, Bank of Ireland sent officials to its offices to chase up money that the business and bank were owed.

Some of it was claimed back using bad debt insurance.

Image caption Bank of Ireland has pursued a fraud investigation against Mr Conway

Mr Conway secretly filmed the bank staff after his company went under in 2009, including Ms Toner divulging that she gave false information on claims.

"I have been telling lies, making things up," she is recorded as saying.

In some of the footage, she asks for records to be tampered with in order to make it look like a company owed 12,000 euros to Meteor.

A criminal lawyer, Neil Swift, told Spotlight he believed there was a basis for a prosecution.

"There is evidence of dishonesty from the mouths of the people concerned," he said.

Dispute

Bank of Ireland has not said whether there was an internal investigation after Mr Conway alerted it to the recordings.

It questioned the "truthfulness" of the footage.

A lawyer for Ms Toner said she "categorically denies any fraud" and that she "did not personally submit any claims to Meteor's insurers".

However, she accepted she made comments that were "ill-judged and inappropriate".

Mr Conway and Bank of Ireland are involved in a dispute.

The bank has pursued a fraud investigation against Mr Conway, reporting him to the PSNI in 2014.

Mr Conway said: "This is a nonsense and it is the bank throwing whatever dirt they can to try to get the attention away from themselves."

Spotlight: At War with the Bank will be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.

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