Friday 16 April 2021 12:34 pm

National Audit Office launches investigation into Greensill's involvement in Covid loan schemes

The National Audit Office (NAO) has launched a probe into supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital following its collapse.

Last month the supply chain finance firm appointed Grant Thornton as its administrators, warning it is in “severe financial distress” as its practices came under severe scrutiny.

Now the NAO will investigate Greensill’s involvement in the government’s coronavirus loan schemes. It comes on top of at least three separate probes launched into the firm, including by the Treasury Select Committee.

Read more: Covid infection levels fell sharply across UK last week

“The British Business Bank (BBB), acting as scheme administrator on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, authorised lenders to provide financial support under CLBILS following an accreditation process. BBB authorised Greensill Capital to issue financial support in June 2020. Greensill Capital filed for insolvency on 8th March 2021,” the NAO said today.

“This investigation will cover Greensill Capital’s involvement in the government’s COVID-19 support schemes, including the accreditation process, and any post-accreditation monitoring of Greensill Capital’s activities.”

It comes amid a furore over David Cameron’s role as an adviser to the firm after allegations the former PM lobbied both the health secretary and Chancellor.

Read more: Greensill: ‘No boundaries’ between civil servants and private sector, says cronyism watchdog

Cameron last year sent texts to Rishi Sunak in a bid to overturn a Treasury decision to deny Greensill Capital access to the government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), which saw the Bank of England buy millions of pounds of bonds from investment grade firms.

In text messages released by the Treasury, Sunak told Cameron he would “push” Treasury officials to look at Greensil’s application again, however the firm was ultimately denied entry to the scheme.

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