Insolvency and Administration

Quindell and Carillion

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) have announced that they have fined audit firm Arrandco (formerly RSM Tenon) £750,000 and the Audit Partner Jeremy Filley £56,000 in relation to the audit of the financial statements of Quindell for the 2011 accounts. They also “reprimanded” both parties and Tenon had to pay £90,000 in costs. Both parties admitted liability. Two of their errors were a “failure to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence and failure to exercise sufficient professional scepticism”. In other words, quite ...

Carillion, EMIS and KPMG

Now that the dust has settled somewhat after the demise of Carillion (CLLN), it’s worth adding some more comments to my previous blog post on the subject. Ultimately it went bust for the same reason most companies do - it simply ran out of cash and could not pay its debts as they became due. As I said before, it collapsed eventually because of ballooning debt, poor cash collection and risky contracts. Unfortunately it seems that private investors were some of the ...

Carillion Goes Into Liquidation

Carillion (CLLN) has gone into liquidation. No messing about with “administration” - it’s gone straight into liquidation with a receiver being appointed. The Government may apparently take over direct responsibility for some of the contracts that Carillion operated to provide public services, but it is unclear what will happen to the commercial contracts. Up to 43,000 jobs are at risk. In addition, many other companies are at risk who acted as suppliers to Carillion because as trade creditors they are likely ...

Obituary – Steve Marshall

The Daily Telegraph ran a lengthy obituary on Steve Marshall today, who died recently at the young age of 60. It covered his financial career in a not particularly complimentary way although some might say he took on a lot of difficult positions. He first came to public prominence when he became CEO of Railtrack after Gerald Corbett was forced to resign, despite having minimal experience of the railway industry. Railtrack was part of the former British Rail that had been privatised ...

Obtaining Information on Frauds

One of the things that investors find frustrating is the failure of the regulatory authorities (FCA, SFO, the Police, LSE) to obtain information on the progress or results of investigations into the affairs of companies. For example, if a company and its shareholders are the clear victims of a fraud, often involving false accounting such as in Globo not so long ago and at BT only recently, then obtaining information about the matter is exceedingly difficult. If the company goes into Administration, ...

FCA Consultation on Changes to FSCS Scheme Compensation

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) pays out if you have lost money as a result of an authorised financial services firm going bust or otherwise being unable to pay compensation for various failings - for example a bank or stockbroker. The scheme is funded by a levy on services firms. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is currently undertaking a public consultation on changes to the scheme. At present there are limits to the protection FSCS provides which vary by financial product. ...

Aero Inventory – Deloittes Fined

There was a brief mention of the latest news on Aero Inventory in the recently issued ShareSoc Informer Newsletter, but here are a few more details. False accounts are a common problem in AIM companies (Aero Inventory and Globo are just two examples apart from the recent case of Redcentric). Let us hope the auditors of Redcentric (PWC) take note of the recent record fine imposed on Deloittes of £4 million in relation to their audit of Aero Inventory, plus £2.3 million ...

AIM Campaign Comments

RBS and Pre-Packs

The FT carried a story on Saturday (11/6/2016) which was a blast from the past. It reported that Neil Mitchell, a former CEO of Torex Retail, had filed a claim in the high court against Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Cerberus and KPMG in relation to the sale of the company at the time it went into Administration. This case goes back to 2007 when Torex Retail got into financial difficulties after some fraudulent accounting came to light (which resulted in subsequent ...

Globo Administrators Report – There’s No Money Left

The Administrators of Globo Plc have published their initial report into the affairs of the company. It makes for depressing reading. In essence one might sum it up in the phrase "There's no money left" which was the infamous wording of a note left by one UK Treasury Minister to his successor. In this case, even the secured creditors (Barclays Bank in the lead), are unlikely to get paid in full and all unsecured creditors and shareholders will get nil. The assets ...