The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has charged Morrisons’ former group treasurer and head of tax Paul Coyle with insider trading.  

Coyle is being charged with insider trading after he bought shares in Ocado before the £216m tie-up between the online supermarket and Morrisons.

He bought the shares before the two supermarkets revealed the lucrative partnership that would involve Ocado launching an online grocery service for Morrisons.

After the deal was revealed, shares in Ocado soared and it was the best performing major stock in Europe last year.

A Morrions spokesman confirmed former employee Coyle had been charged by the FCA following his arrest in 2013 following allegations of insider dealing.

He added: “The FCA’s insider dealing investigation did not concern Wm Morrison Supermarkets nor any other Morrisons’ employee. 

“Morrisons is satisfied with its governance and procedures concerning the handling of market-sensitive data in this case and found that the company’s procedures had been properly followed. These accusations, if proven, would be the result of an individual acting alone.”