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Formal Disciplinary Meeting - ** FOUND IN FAVOUR OF EMPLOYEE **

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Hi,

 

Apologies in advance as I am in shock and posting off my phone so I'll try to be coherent.

 

I have been advised today following an informal meeting that I am to be interviewed under our disciplinary procedure.

 

I work for a large bank let's call it Bank ABC as it's a few banks together these days!

 

In 2008 when I worked for Bank C, I took a new mortgage out on my house on preferential staff terms, via a mortgage adviser. I am not a mortgage adviser and do not work in the mortgage department.

 

I had a mortgage on my previous house, also on staff terms. This house was on the market and sold STC just as the housing price crash hit. Buyers pulled out.

 

The house was empty for months and we tried in vain to sell.

 

Eventually my sister moved in. I kept Bank C informed via email and they were happy. Official rules state that to be on staff terms, either I, spouse or children must live in property. They knew it was my sister.

Sister was happy (paying rent to cover mortgage). All was well.

 

I then went on maternity leave and sister took on a pub. A very close friend moved into the property and pays much less than market rate. I didn't think to inform Bank C as was not in work mode (March 2014) and as she is closer to me day to day than sister it just didn't register.

 

Bank C got taken over and is now Bank ABC, who have new staff terms (which clearly state heritage terms are not affected).

 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I called mortgage team at Bank ABC to renew the deal on my current house.

 

I then got called into an informal meeting as the adviser had raised that I have 2 mortgages.

 

I gave a full account (from memory), I was offer representation at the time but didn't think was necessary.

 

This was then referred to the Colleague Conduct Team who have now said that formal proceedings need to take place as I am outside policy.

 

Ultimately, I did not grant myself these facilities - I spoke to a mortgage adviser to obtain the new mortgage and Bank C were aware that the unsold house is not occupied by me or my spouse.

 

I'm in a spin now as I have no idea where this could lead to.

 

I was in email correspondence when my sister moved in. I had these as work and are long gone. But I absolutely 100% know this is true. I can't recall if I completed an official consent to lease but I am working on the basis I didn't but I was told not to worry.

 

I am in the union thank goodness and they have been great so far but can't do much now until the meeting has taken place.

 

If the worst that can happen is I have to change the old mortgage I will do, I have left it purely for ease and there are much better deals out there when comparing customer rates. As a perk with the tax I have to pay it certainly wasn't worth being underhand.

 

Also, I have spoken many times about having 2 staff mortgages in an open office, why is this an issue 8 years later?

 

If anyone can offer any pearls of wisdom I would be most grateful. I have an unblemished 20 year career and would like it to remain that way!

 

To add I can't find the terms from when I applied, and the mortgage admin team do not have records of any correspondence when sister moved in.

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I am afraid that there is no such thing as "unofficial rules" - the official rules that you speak of had very clear terms, and you have broken those terms. It seems you have no evidence that the bank agreed to that breach. All you can really do is tell the truth and depend on your unions advice. They will have a much better idea of the regulations and the best strategies for your workplace. And they are best placed to advise you on what the worst outcome might be.

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Thank you for replying Sangie and that's pretty much what I have done / will do - I genuinely hadn't realised this was an issue and thought I had done what I needed to do along the way. I'm in this position due to naivity rather than trying to abuse the system so I hope that is taken into account.

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I am afraid that there is no such thing as "unofficial rules"

 

Yet, "custom & practice" can be referred to in (& influence) a disciplinary, and "unofficial rules" 'custom & practice'.

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Yet, "custom & practice" can be referred to in (& influence) a disciplinary, and "unofficial rules" 'custom & practice'.

 

But this is not "custom and practice", and nor is it "unofficial rules" - I used the latter term to describe the opposite of what the OP was suggesting i.e. that there was something other than official rules. The terms of this contractual agreement were clear - the mortgage was for the employee and wife or children. No doubt in hindsight the OP now realises that retaining no evidence, or not getting a formal agreement to vary that term, was foolish. But hindsight is always 20/20. Anyone who is in a contract, be it for a mortgage or anything else, is responsible for adhering to the terms of that - so if you buy a property on a mortgage for yourself and then rent it out to others, you would be in the same position - in breach of the terms and subject to some forms of action.

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Thank you. Just understanding the terminology is very helpful.

I have sent off a DSAR request to see if they can find the records. A colleague who is quite senior is supporting me and suggested I do this.

Ultimately being in breach of policy (which is so far what they have said this is) is misconduct.

Deception is gross misconduct and I know I have not lied and have actions to prove I've never tried to hide my scenario (I have landlords insurance which was taken on the advice of the person who said it was ok for sister to live in the property).

I just have to put together my timeline and as much info as I can and present to the independent person as best as I can. I am meeting my union rep next week in person.

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Hopefully, they are simply going through the correct motions and will find in your favour. I suppose that, to be fair, if they did not formally find that there was no intent here, it could dog you in the future, and would leave a door open for others who might have less honest intentions. So I think yes, gather all the evidence you can, and remember that they have to provide you with their evidence before the hearing - they may not actually have very much!

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Thank you again.

I am hoping that too!

My manager is now trying to find an independent manager for the meeting but this is hard as I am quite well known (in a good way I am sure!).

In the interim, am I allowed to know what the exact allegations are and any evidence or do I have to wait until the meeting is arranged?

I have had conversations with precious senior managers who have given me lots of support so am feeling ok but it is fear of the unknown that is causing me the most worry.

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yes, you are entitled to know beforehand of what you are accused of and should show you their paperwork before the meeting If not ask for an adjournment so you have time to read it. A day should do.

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Yes they should provide copies of anything they intend to use. But there may not be anything. There doesn't seem to be any dispute as to the facts . It is the interpretation of the intent surrounding those facts that is the point in question, and no paperwork exists to show this.

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Sorry what I meant was can I see the allegation and evidence (agree there can't really be any!) while they are sorting out the meeting.

Thank you all for posting. It is really appreciated.

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You should ask them for it to be provided before the meeting. They should give it anyway, but asking does no harm. But ask the union to obtain it. This is what you are paying them for. If there is anything, they will need to review it with you. Remember - you aren't on your own here!

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Hi, just a quick update to say I have yet to receive anything. It will be 2 weeks on Wednesday since I was advised this was going to a formal disciplinary. In the meantime I think I have put enough together to confirm that I've not been in any way dishonest.

I've asked for updates every couple of days and am trying to keep on keeping on but this is complete limbo. I can't plan or do anything.

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Hi, just a quick update to say I have yet to receive anything. It will be 2 weeks on Wednesday since I was advised this was going to a formal disciplinary. In the meantime I think I have put enough together to confirm that I've not been in any way dishonest.

I've asked for updates every couple of days and am trying to keep on keeping on but this is complete limbo. I can't plan or do anything.

 

I'm sure it doesn't make you feel any better, but these things often go slowly.

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they will have to do a lot of digging to make sure they get everything right, whatever their evidnce leads them to. As you say, it goes back a long time to a previous incarnation. Dont read anything into the delay.

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In my experience the delay is deliberate and it's used for two purposes:

1. Give you a false sense of security that you'll be ok so they can shock and hit you hard unexpectedly.

2. Make you worry sick so you don't think straight anymore.

 

Mind games...

My advice: Don't lose control but at the same time don't overthink it.

Easy to say, difficult to do, but try your best.

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That's a cynical view. It may be true at times, but more often than not the delay is far less devious. As ericsbrother said, the scope of this goes back into history and TUPE and other companies records. That takes time. Plus, in the mundame world, getting diaries together for a panel can take far more time than anyone thinks it should. People don't keep convenient clear spots for possible hearings.

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Thank you Sangie! I did get a little worried a kings comments but I know there is nothing to find!

 

I have heard from the hearing manager directly to arrange the meeting first then she will send the letter. I said soonest really but as I didn't know the official allegations I wasn't sure if I could proceed without the info from the DSAR so she sent it to me and it really is as simple as I have 2 staff mortgages and I don't live in them both.

 

I've been putting my timeline together and am happy to have the meeting. But the parting paragraph as below is a worry. I can't find anything similar in case law but the wiki definition of mutual trust reassures me that the employer / employee should look out for each other and they have had loads of opportunity over the 9 years to say 'we need to sort this' and I would have done at any point. I'm nervous but happy I can prove this has come about out of an assumption that all was ok and not 'wilful and reckless' dishonesty. We are aiming for next Thursday if I receive the letter in time.

 

Your actions bring into question your judgement, honesty and personal integrity and have damaged the relationship of mutual trust and confidence which must exist between employer and employee and do not fulfil the ABC Values/Codes of Business and Personal Responsibility.

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Hmm... mutual trust and confidence is a common catch all for serious misconduct allegations. In itself I wouldn't worry about that at all. It isn't relevant unless they find you guilty of something in the actual matter being heard!

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Thank you Sangie. I have done a bit of research and I can see mutual trust is a very grey area.

 

I've had my full interview pack. There's a couple of things that haven't been quite done to the letter but I don't want my defence to be based on irregularities.

 

There have been loads of occasions where I have proactively contacted the mortgage lender and lots of opportunity for them to say 'this needs looking at' and I would have been forthcoming if they did that.

 

The notes from the informal meeting say that I should have been more aware of the terms of the scheme and on that basis there is the potential to question my integrity.

 

These notes include the recommendation to proceed to formal action for a potential Gross misconduct and were completed by my line manager so am obviously quite upset he made this recommendation but everyone will be protecting their own interests I am sure. He has made some very speculative comments though which I am very unhappy about. He states that I could have gained financially if I haven't declared any income or BIK on my tax returns. This was never discussed as part of the informal meeting and I would have confirmed that of course I have and I will take my tax returns to the hearing.

 

He also stated I claimed 'everyone' was aware of my personal mortgage situation. I did not claim this and this is also not in the meeting notes. I have said in the response I have been preparing that I have discuses my circumstances openly with colleagues, and this includes him. I do to expect anyone to remember the details.

 

I've forwarded to my union rep and will speak to her before the hearing. I am pretty well prepared but won't deny I am petrified.

 

Had my end of year rating meeting today with same manager and he raised concerns about current performance. I've told him I am all-consumed with this and can't think about anything other. He said I should go to the doctors and get signed off but I really don't want to as wallowing at home won't help.

 

I had that virus last week that's going round (I was pretty much told to go home!) so don't want to fall foul of the sickness policy either!!

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I should probably have said that the matter being heard is simply that I have 2 staff mortgages and the scheme only allows one.

 

This is a fact and I was allowed to enter into this situation with the full approval of Bank C at the time.

 

Everything else is probably just noise but I have prepared a full account of what happened at the time and since.

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Hi,

I had the meeting on Thursday.

My union roe was super and made a great opening and closing statement as well as supporting me throughout.

 

I read my response to the allegation and then my supporting evidence.

 

The hearing manager didn't really then have any questions so was all fairly straightforward.

 

I should hopefully have a decision this week.

 

This has been the worst few weeks and I hope I can soon put it behind me one way or another.

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Hi all,

 

The outcome was 'not upheld'.

 

Honestly the relief is like nothing I can describe. This has been the worst few weeks.

 

Thanks to everyone who gave support and advice.

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Hi all,

 

The outcome was 'not upheld'.

 

Honestly the relief is like nothing I can describe. This has been the worst few weeks.

 

Thanks to everyone who gave support and advice.

 

Hello Mw.

 

I'm delighted for you, thank you for coming back to let us know. And now I hope you can get on with your life. :)

 

I'll change your thread title to reflect the outcome.

 

All the best for the future.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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