A man who defrauded HSBC customers of more £295,000 from their pension pot has been denied a cab driver’s licence.
Bryan Mearns told Glasgow City Council’s licensing committee last week that “because of his criminal record he had no other option but to become a private hire car driver”.
Mearns was jailed for 18 months in January 2017 at Hamilton Sheriff Court for fraud after engaging in a scheme between 2010 and 2011 where he impersonated HSBC and successfully managed to transfer £295,242 into his account.
When Mearns was brought before the licensing committee he told councillors that his actions were a “case of necessity” to pay off his own £10,000 debt, and that all the funds he had taken had been reversed.
Councillor Alex Wilson said: “We need our customers to have 100% faith in the people who are driving them.
“They need to be sure they can trust their driver and that their funds won’t be tampered with.
“You need to give us some sort of reassurance that our residents can get from A to B and not have any misgivings about you.”
Councillor Rhiannon Spear then questioned Mr Mearns’ suitability for the role.
She said: “We are here to judge if you are a fit and proper person to hold such a licence. You have defrauded customers from a national bank because you were in debt.
“I am sure many people have debt and don’t go to those lengths. If you find yourself in that situation again are you going to defraud your customers?”
Mr Mearns claimed he was a “changed man”.
He said: “I served four-and-half-months of my prison sentence and have worked in security and retail.
“I am unemployed and unable to get a job. Because of my criminal record I have no other option but to become a cab driver.”
Following the discussion, the majority of councillors refused to grant Mr Mearns’ application.