Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Mrs Hill told the inquest: “There is a short walk way to get to the pool. I turned the lights on, he did not seem to be there. I saw his red dressing gown on the pool side and a cup on my exercise machine.”Mrs Hill said that she could see about a metre of water in the 10-metre length pool, because the rest was hidden by the rolling pool cover.She added that when she rolled back the cover, Mr Hill was revealed floating face down in the water just past a set of steps about four metres down the pool.Mr Palmer told the inquest in a statement: “I saw Belinda go into the building and suddenly I heard screaming.”Mr Hill was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading in cardiac arrest, the inquest heard but was declared dead shortly after arrival when medics said there were no signs of life.The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide. One of Britain’s best-known bankers drowned himself in his private swimming pool after becoming convinced that he was about to be sent to prison.Adrian Hill, former head of the HFC Bank, had been suffering night terrors before committing suicide at his large estate near Henley-on-Thames, South Oxfordshire.He had told his wife that he was going downstairs to make a cup of tea but instead crept out into the garden and slid under the cover of the outdoor swimming pool, where he drowned. His body was found during a search by the couple’s groundskeeper who lived on the estate.A coroner heard yesterday that Mr Hill had begun to suffer from manic episodes – including going out and buying expensive pictures – after becoming convinced that the Financial Conduct Authority was closing in on him.In the early 2000s he was one of the first pioneers of subprime mortgage lending in Britain, which was later blamed for causing the worldwide financial crisis in 2008. Later he went on to be in charge of First Direct. In recent years he had clashed repeatedly with the FCA over its efforts to crackdown on payday lenders. Last October he called the watchdog “a very nasty bully” after blaming it for the bankruptcy of his rent-to-own business, with the loss of 700 jobs. The FCA then threatened to call the police after Mr Hill likened its staff to the Stasi secret police, threatened “to slay intellectually” senior FCA figures and sent a picture of himself carrying a hunting rifle. Mr Hill was also a prominent Tory donor and landowner who campaigned against plans for a “Green Brexit”Credit:INS/INS The watchdog was also investigating his former bank HFC over allegations that thousands of credit card customers were overcharged when they fell behind with payments.Mr Hill was also a prominent Tory donor who had been critical of the party’s plans for a “Green Brexit”. Last November he led a delegation of farmers and landowners to Westminster where he accused then-environment secretary Michael Gove of being “too important and busy to come to our breakfast”.Mr Hill’s death came as a huge shock to friends and family, including his two daughters Elli and Jessica, who all knew him as a successful financier.His widow, Belinda Hill, told the inquest: “He was talking under his breath and there was a lot of getting himself into a pickle and worrying about things, worrying about his paperwork. He was concerned that a regulator was going to come and arrest him.”The coroner heard that on the evening before her husband’s suicide, Mrs Hill had fallen asleep after her husband had gone to make a cup of tea, only waking up when she realised he had not returned around an hour later.She called Angus Palmer, who worked for the Hills to manage their estate and lived on the grounds of the property – New Farm in Badgemore, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon. – and Mrs Hill and Mr Palmer split up to search for Mr Hill.