Ex Heritage Bank employee on fraud charges

A FORMER employee of Heritage Bank in Toowoomba has appeared before the city's Magistrates Court on a charge of fraud.

A Kingsthorpe woman, 31, appeared briefly in court with her solicitor and was formally charged with fraud as an employee.

She was not required to enter any plea to the charge and no details of the allegations were aired in court.

However, Heritage Bank, through a statement released yesterday to coincide with the woman's court appearance, said bank officials had "uncovered a potential case of financial fraud by a staff member".

The bank's chief executive officer Peter Lock through the release said that "the issue had been identified just before Christmas and the matter had been placed in the hands of the police".

"The staff member's employment has been terminated," the statement read.

"Given this is a police matter that is now before the courts, we are unable to provide detailed comments at this stage," Mr Lock said.

"However the alleged fraud did not involve money being taken out of customer accounts."

Mr Lock said Heritage had already commissioned independent experts to investigate the alleged fraud and to recommend any changes needed to internal processes.

No amount of money attached to the alleged fraud was mentioned in court.

But the fact the case was adjourned for committal mention, indicating the matter was expected to go before the higher court, suggested the alleged offending involved tens of thousands of dollars.

Magistrate Bruce Schemioneck remanded the woman on bail and adjourned the case for committal mention back in the same court on April 12.