Khan was fired from doomed contractor shortly before its collapse in 2018

Former Carillion finance chief Zafar Khan has been banned from being a director for 11 years for his conduct at the doomed contractor.  

Carillion had been the UK’s second biggest contractor and was working on 420 public sector contracts when it went bust in January 2018. 

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Zafar Khan speaking at the parliamentary inquiry into Carillion’s collapse over five years ago

An Insolvency Service spokesperson said: “The Insolvency Service, acting on behalf of The Secretary of State for Business and Trade, has accepted a disqualification undertaking from Zafar Iqbal Khan for 11 years for his conduct as a director of Carillion Plc. 

“As the litigation against the remaining directors is ongoing, with a trial set to commence the week of 16 October 2023, the Insolvency Service is unable to comment any further.” 

According to the Insolvency Service, which announced the disqualification yesterday, Khan caused the company to “rely on false and misleading financial information” for the preparation of its 2016 accounts. 

This resulted in the “material misstatement of profits in relation to the performance of five major construction contracts” worth a total £208.5m. 

These jobs were Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Battersea Power Station, Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, Midlands Metropolitan Hospital and Msheireb Phase 1B in Doha. 

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It said Khan caused the business to make “misleading” market announcements in March and May of 2017, and to make a £54.4m dividend payment in 2016 which Carillion could not afford “in view of its true financial performance”. 

Khan had been Carillion’s finance director for nine months when he was fired shortly before the firm’s collapse. 

When he gave evidence to MPs in the aftermath of the company’s liquidation, he blamed its collapse on the firm’s long-term debt position, rather than problem contracts. 

He also claimed he had been fired because he had “spooked” Carillion’s board with a financial update showing a decline in the company’s position. 

Labour MP Frank Field, who was co-chair of the inquiry, described Khan as “hapless” but said other directors of the firm appeared keen to set him up as the “fall guy”.