Contracting giant Carillion went into compulsory liquidation in January 2018. At the time it was the UK’s second-largest contractor and held approximately 450 contracts with the government. Clients included the Department for Transport, the Department for Education, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Defence.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Carillion had broken market rules and Howson, Adam and Khan “acted recklessly and were knowingly concerned in Carillion’s contraventions” in the months before a 2017 profit warning that took analysts by surprise and prompted the company’s downfall.
The FCA said it had decided on provisional fines of £397,800 for former chief executive officer Richard John Howson; £318,000 for former finance director Richard Adam; and £154,000 for Zafar Khan, also a former finance director.
It said Howson, Adam and Khan had referred their individual FCA decision notices to the Upper Tribunal, which will decide whether to uphold the regulator’s findings and proposed penalties, or whether other action should be taken.
Two PFI hospitals for which Carillion was the main construction contractor – one in Sandwell in the West Midlands and the other in Liverpool – were among the high-profile jobs immediately thrown into jeopardy. Those contracts alone were originally worth a combined £1.4 bn. Carillion’s “total deficiency” at the time of its demise was £3 bn.