Munir Malik, who was part of the group's values and principles board has been suspended while an investigation was carried out into his qualifications.
ICAEW said today that although he is not listed as a member, following detailed record checks the institute could confirm that Munir Malik had qualified as a chartered accountant in October 1974. However, his membership was terminated in 1991 when he was declared bankrupt.
“ICAEW became aware in July 2013 that Mr Malik was mis-representing himself as a chartered accountant” the institute said in a statement. “In accordance with our Principal Bye law 7(a), a member’s entitlement to use the description chartered accountant(s) and/or the designatory letters ACA ends when membership of ICAEW ceases.
“ICAEW wrote to Mr Malik in October 2013 asking him to stop describing himself as a chartered accountant and Mr Malik undertook to do so.”
On Friday, a spokesperson for the Co-operative Group said, “Munir Malik is currently suspended as a director of The Co-operative Group pending the outcome of a board investigation in relation to the qualifications stated in his election materials.”
He was appointed to the Co-op board in May 2013. According to a report in the Financial Times the investigation has been “going on for some time".
Malik, a Labour councillor for the London Borough of Bexley, was also suspended by the Labour party on Friday for “bringing the party into disrepute”.
It is the latest in a series of scandals across the Co-operative portfolio. Last week, the former City minister Lord Myners quit his place on the Co-operative Group board after only four months in the role.This followed on from the shock resignation of CEO Euan Sutherland in March on the basis that it was "ungovernable". Today, writing in the Guardian, Lord Myners said he was planning to “set out reforms that I see as crucial for the group’s future viability.”
“I was asked to undertake an independent review, give my diagnosis and make recommendations. I represent no one except common sense,” he said.