The announcement today (Friday 13 November) by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) watchdog that senior executives of Carillion ‘mislead’ the markets and acted ‘recklessly’ should result in the guilty being sent to prison, Unite the union has said.

Corporate collapse

Construction and outsourcing company, Carillion, collapsed in January 2018 owing billions, resulting in thousands of workers either directly employed by the company or in its supply chain losing their jobs.

It was one of the largest corporate failures in UK history and nearly three years later the FCA has not yet completed its investigation into Carillion’s collapse.

Reckless behaviour

In a warning notice sent today the FCA said that a number of senior executives were "knowingly concerned” in numerous breaches of market rules and had acted recklessly.

The FCA’s findings relate to statements that Carillion made to the markets in December 2016, March 2017 and May 2017, that did not reflect the true financial performance of the company.

Those involved have 14 days to answer the FCA’s charges. However if the FCA does find them guilty, it has indicated there will merely be a public censure of Carillion rather than a financial penalty.

Guilty should go to prison

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “It is astonishing that nearly three years after Carillion’s collapse no one has yet been charged let alone convicted over their actions.

 “Without a doubt Carillion had been trading while insolvent for some time before its collapse.

 “This was not a victimless white collar crime, thousands of workers lost their jobs. If executives and directors had reported honestly on Carillion’s financial predicament, many of those job losses could have been avoided.

 “This case demonstrates everything that is wrong with corporate law in the UK, a failure to act before a company collapses, very slow investigations following a collapse and then if action is taken it is only a slap on the wrist.

 “Public censure is not a sufficient punishment, the guilty should be going to prison.

 “The government needs to get its head out of the sand and introduce legislation which will end this form of bandit capitalism once and for all.”


Notes to editors:

Carillion two years on: hospitals unfinished and guilty unpunished

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.