The former head of RSA Insurance Group plc’s Irish unit said an internal company report effectively accused him of being a bully, laying the ground for his departure.
In a hearing at the Employment Appeals Tribunal in Tuesday on Dublin, Philip Smith, who said he was forced out of the company, said the report amounted to “what I could only describe as a character assassination.”
“It was shocking in its departure from my strong perception of the reality,” said Smith, who resigned in 2013 during an investigation into the Irish business’s accounting practices. “It represented a hammer blow. If ever you felt pushed under the bus, this was it.'”
RSA’s lawyer Brian O’Moore said today that should Smith focus on the contents of a draft of an internal report, the company may have to call “contradictory evidence.” RSA has said that the company would defend itself against Smith’s constructive dismissal claim “tooth and nail.”
RSA is still awaiting the results of an Irish regulatory probe following the accounting scandal and a 200 million-pound ($301 million) capital injection in Ireland that cost former Group CEO Simon Lee his job.
RSA’s Irish unit cost it another 100 million pounds in 2014, taking its total bill since the accounting irregularities were first reported to about 300 million pounds.
While RSA notified police and corporate authorities of the accounting issues, on a “no-name” basis, Smith said he was never contacted by police or accused of accounting issues. The case continues.
–With assistance from Sarah Jones in London.
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