A man who impersonated HSBC Bank to fraudulently obtain more than £295,000 from their customers’ pensions has been denied a cab driver’s licence.

Bryan Mearns was jailed for 18 months in January 2017 at Hamilton Sheriff Court after engaging in the scheme between 2010 and 2011 where he impersonated HSBC and successfully managed to transfer £295,242 into his account.

Mearns was brought before Glasgow City Council’s licensing committee where he told councillor’s 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 per cent 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.

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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 said he didn’t see how he could do that.

Councillor Elspeth Kerr added: “I have debts but I don’t intend to defraud anyone to pay them off.

“How much have you changed in nine years?”

Mearns replied: “This will never happen again. I am a changed man. 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.