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Widow accuses Abbey bosses after suicide verdict on IT analyst

21 July 2005  |  6935 views  |  0 abbey - green

The widow of Richard Chang, the Abbey IT analyst who committed suicide by jumping from a balcony at the bank's UK headquarters, has hit out at his employers, blaming them for causing his death.

A jury at the inquest at St Pancras Coroner's Court in London returned a verdict of suicide after Chang fell to his death from the top-floor balcony at Abbey National's London HQ in July last year.

He had been a suspect in an internal investigation conducted by Kroll Associates to find the authors of documents alleging corruption and bribery in the granting of IT contracts in the bank's treasury division.

The corruption allegations were found to be false, but bank bosses feared the culprit would use his knowledge of IT trading systems to sabotage the business.

Chang, who was servicing out his notice at the bank, was identified by Kroll as a suspect on fingerprint evidence and called in to a meeting, ostensibly to discuss his replacement with his project manager.

Chang jumped to his death after requesting a break in the subsequent two-and-a-half hour interrogation.

In a statement released after the verdict, Lay Pen Lim Chang says her husband was "deceived" about the meeting and then subjected to "misleading" questioning.

She says if the meeting had not taken place her husband would still be alive as he had "everything to live for".

The coroner says he will send a report to employee arbitration service ACAS to help provide guidance for employers dealing with similar investigations in future.

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