Carillion’s ex-finance chief handed 11-year boardroom ban

The former finance chief of Carillion has been banned from holding company directorships for more than a decade.

Zafar Khan, who served as Carillion’s finance director for less than a year prior to its collapse in early 2018, has been hit with an 11-year boardroom ban.

The penalty was handed down by the government’s Insolvency Service.

It is the first such ban imposed under the Company Director Disqualification Act against any former Carillion executive.

Proceedings against a number of others, including former chief executive Richard Howson, remain ongoing.

In a letter to MPs sent weeks after Carillion’s collapse, Khan said he had been at odds with the company’s board about disclosures relating to its financial health.

“Whilst I fully accept responsibility for my actions as a director of Carillion plc, I do genuinely believe that it was the level of debt which had been allowed to grow in previous years which was the principal contributing factor to the difficulties Carillion experienced in 2017 as trading conditions worsened,” he wrote.

He added that his contract was terminated by the company four months before it ceased trading.

In total, eight former Carillion directors face bans following the launch of legal proceedings authorised by Kwasi Kwarteng, the then business secretary, in January 2021.

Last year, Khan, Howson and Richard Adam, who also served as Carillion’s finance chief, were fined a total of close to £1m for issuing misleading statements to investors about the state of the company’s finances.

The trio were reported to be appealing against the fines imposed by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Carillion went under owing close to £7bn.

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.”


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