Sunday 30 December 2018 10:03 am

Carillion bosses face fresh questioning from Insolvency Service 11 months on from dramatic collapse

Carillion’s former bosses were hauled in front of Insolvency Service investigators at the start of December to answer questions about its collapse according to reports.

Philip Green, chairman of the company when it went bust in mid-January, and ex-chief executive Richard Howson, could face bans from taking boardroom positions for up to 15 years.

Sky News said yesterday the Insolvency Service was speaking to hundreds of people as part of its investigation into the company’s demise.

The longest a company director can be banned from taking a boardroom role is 15 years.

Howson was in charge between 2011 and 2017, but quit in July last year when the company ran into serious financial difficulty and short sellers moved in.

Carillion, the UK’s second largest construction company when it collapsed, held 450 government contracts, and put 45,000 jobs on the line when it went into administration.

A joint inquiry by the Work and Pensions Committee and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee found it had liabilities of nearl £7bn when it went under, including £2.6bn in pensions liabilities and £2bn owed to 30,000 suppliers, subcontractors and other short term creditors.

Frank Field, chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said Carillion showed an “utter contempt” for suppliers, who it used as “a line of credit to shore up its fragile balance sheet”.

The company’s collapse threw a cloud over the whole sector, with rival outsourcer Interserve repeatedly facing financial difficulty this year, forcing its lenders to bail it out at the end of the year.

The Official Receiver said it was to speak to Carillion’s directors “to assist with the investigation”.