Carillion

  1. Plan to restore trust in business after Carillion scandal

    BBC Business News

    A key business group is proposing improvements to how firms are run in the wake of scandals such as Carillion.

    The Wolverhampton-based engineering giant went into liquidation in January 2018 after running up debts of about £1.5bn.

    A sign for Carillion

    The 10-point proposals are from the Institute of Directors (IoD) and include urging an end to shareholder primacy - whereby corporate profits trump public concerns - and more commitment to environmentally friendly policies.

    The IoD's director of policy, Edwin Morgan, told the BBC's Today programme governance in the UK was generally good but there was "room for improvement".

    "We have seen major collapses like Carillion which have dented public trust... you can be director of a public corporation and have no training in corporate governance," he said.

  2. How can trust in business be restored?

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Carillion logo

    The Institute of Directors (IoD) has launched a 10-point plan to improve corporate governance in the wake of scandals such as Carillion.

    Director of policy Edwin Morgan told Today that governance in the UK was generally good but there was "room for improvement".

    "We have seen major collapses like Carillion which have dented public trust... you can be director of a public corporation and have no training in corporate governance," he said.

    Among other things the plan urges an end to shareholder primacy - whereby corporate profits trump public concerns - and more commitment to environmentally friendly policies.

  3. Kier 'won't be another Carillion'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Kier building site

    Yesterday yet another British government outsourcer Kier announced that it was in trouble.

    Kier said it will cut 1,200 jobs and sell its homebuilding business, Kier Living, as well as shutting or selling other interests, including its recycling and rubbish processing units.

    But will it go the same way as Carillion, which went bust in January last year?

    Stephen Rawlinson, an analyst at Applied Value, doesn't think so.

    "I don't think anyone wants to see another Carillion, because they realise that making these companies go into administration is expensive in itself, but not withstanding that, there is insufficient competition in the UK anyway to build the assets for the schools, the roads, the hospitals that we all need in our everyday lives," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

    "But also it actually has physical assets it can sell. It can sell the land, it can sell the property, but it's not a great time to do it, so it may well be that it has to sell more assets than was announced yesterday."

  4. Video content

    Video caption: The Mayor of Liverpool demands answers to the latest problems at the stalled hospital.
  5. Competition watchdog recommends accountancy market revamp

    BBC Business News

    The UK's competition regulator has recommended a major shake-up of the UK's accountancy market.

    Carillion sign

    Alarm bells have rung over recent accountancy blunders, such as the collapse of Wolverhampton-based Carillion, which was audited by KPMG.

    The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said auditing and consultancy services should be entirely separate.

    But it has stopped short of calling for the Big Four accountancy firms to be broken up.

    However, industry bodies criticised the proposals, with one saying there was no evidence that they would lead to better audits.

  6. New Kier boss was hoping to be Carillion chief

    Kier

    What a difference a year makes.

    Andrew Davies had expected to become chief of Carillion before the company collapsed just over a year ago.

    Today the former chief executive of Wates has been named as chief executive of infrastructure giant Kier.

    He replaces Haydn Mursell who stood down in January after investors failed to back Kier's £250m fund raising plan. Barely a third of the shareholders in the outsourcing firm backed the rights issue.

    Mr Davies said: "I look forward to leading Kier in bringing a renewed focus on simplifying the Group, improving cashflow generation and reducing net debt, while maintaining the group's disciplined approach to risk management."

  7. Carillion auditing probe extended by watchdog

    Carillion sign

    A probe into the auditing of collapsed construction giant Carillion has been extended back a further year by the UK accounting watchdog.

    The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said its inquiry into the preparation, approval and auditing of Carillion will now also cover the year 2013. The FRC is already looking into KPMG's audit of Carillion for the years 2014 to 2017.

    The FRC has already said its original investigations will continue "well into 2019".

    It launched investigations in January and March last year into KPMG's audits of Carillion, as well as the conduct of two former finance directors, Richard Adam and Zafar Khan.

    The FRC is looking into the financial performance of Carillion's major contracts across the construction and services divisions, and whether management and KPMG ensured this was appropriately reported in its financial statements.

    Pension liabilities and cash disclosures are also areas being investigated.

  8. Serco: Eeyorish happiness

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Eeyore follows the guards on the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace for the Queen's 80th Birthday

    Rupert Soames, the chief executive of Serco, has been speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme after the outsourcing company published 2018 results.

    Such companies have been in the spotlight recently after the collapse of Carillion and problems at Interserve.

    Mr Soames joined Serco in 2014, when it was facing financial difficulties and now says the company is at a turning point after two years of increased orders and 80% of the business coming from overseas.

    "We were early adopters of financial carnage. When we got into trouble way back in 2014 when I came into the company with some colleagues to try and turn it round we’ve had our dark night of the souls as well, but after four and half years of hard slog it looks like the tanker is turning".

    "In an Eeyorish-kind of way we’re cheerful in a miserable kind of way," he said.

  9. Interserve on the brink - FT

    Interserve building site

    Interserve is struggling to avoid a Carillion-style collapse, according the Financial Times.

    The FT claims Interserve is in last ditch rescue talks after the government blocked a proposal to save the company.

    However, the BBC understands that the government may issue a statement soon clarifying a few points in the article.

    The company is one of the UK's biggest government contractors, as was Carillion before it imploded last year.

    The FT article quotes an unnamed source who describes the situation thus: “Everyone is running ragged trying to find a settlement.

    "It’s a bit like Brexit. No one wants no-deal on the table but no one can agree and the company is running out of road and will hit overdraft limits soon.”