Lookers chief operating officer resigns amid probe over ‘potential fraud’

The chief operating officer of Lookers has stepped down, days after the car dealership business said it had identified potential fraud.

Cameron Wade announced his resignation from the company with immediate effect, after being at the business for less than two months.

The Altrincham-based business gave no reason for his sudden departure in a brief statement to investors.

On Tuesday, Lookers said it was suspending the publication of its financial results for 2019 after it reported “potentially fraudulent transactions” in one of its divisions.

Shares in the company sank when the markets opened on Wednesday as investors were left shaken by the news.

The company insisted that its initial findings were “not material” but it was the latest blow to the business after two profit warnings in the past four months.

Lookers said it is appointing an external adviser to lead a full investigation into the situation.

It had been due to announce its annual figures on Wednesday but said these will now be pushed back to the second half of April.

Lookers trades from around 165 dealerships in the UK and Ireland, operating as Taggarts in Scotland and Charles Hurst in Northern Ireland.

Shares in the business were volatile in early trading on Thursday but moved 0.6% higher to 24.15p.