‘Recklessness, hubris and greed’ – MPs lay into Carillion directors

Carillion enquiry 3  PA-34818220

Scathing 100-page report into firm’s collapse lays blame on its board and slams role of accountants

Carillion enquiry 3  PA-34818220

Source: PA Images

Richard Howson being grilled by MPs in February

A parliamentary report into Carillion’s collapse has laid the blame at the door of its board singling out its former chief executive and finance director for presiding over a “rotten corporate culture” with MPs telling a separate Insolvency Service investigation into the failure that it needs to “carefully” look at whether the contractor’s directors breached company law.

In a 100-page report published this week, the business and work and pensions committees, which launched a joint inquiry days after the £5bn firm went bust in January, said Carillion’s fall was “a story of recklessness, hubris and greed [based on] a relentless dash for cash, driven by acquisitions, rising debt, expansion into new markets and exploitation of suppliers”.

But it saved particular ire for the collapsed firm’s board with the committees, headed by Labour MPs Rachel Reeves and Frank Field, rounding on directors’ “self-pitying” evidence they heard in the weeks after its collapse.

It said: “They presented to us as self-pitying victims of a maelstrom of coincidental and unforeseeable mishaps.” 

MPs singled out former chief executive Richard Howson, his finance director Richard Adam, who left at the end of 2016, and Carillion’s chairman at the time of its implosion, Philip Green, for particular criticism.

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