'Carillion collapsed as a result of “recklessness, hubris and greed” among directors who put their own financial rewards ahead of all other concerns, according to an excoriating report into the firm’s demise that spreads the blame between board members, the government, accountants and regulators.
The company, which managed huge construction projects and provided government services ranging from school meals to prison maintenance and NHS cleaning, slumped into insolvency in January. More than 2,000 people have since been made redundant.
A damning 100-page report compiled by two select committees, published today, found that directors prioritised senior executive bonus payouts and dividends for shareholders even as the firm neared collapse, while treating pension payments as a “waste of money”.
Frank Field, who chairs the work and pension committee, said: “Same old story. Same old greed. A board of directors too busy stuffing their mouths with gold to show any concern for the welfare of their workforce or their pensioners.”
In a joint statement with business committee chair Rachel Reeves, the pair called for a complete overhaul of Britain’s corporate governance regime, saying the government had “lacked the decisiveness or bravery” to do so.
“Government urgently needs to come to parliament with radical reforms to our creaking system of corporate accountability,” Field said. “British industry is too important to be left in the hands of the likes of the shysters at the top of Carillion.”'
Read more: 'Recklessness, hubris and greed' – Carillion slammed by MPs
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