Former Carillion director speaks out after 11-year ban


The former finance chief of Carillion has spoken out after being banned from holding any company directorships for 11 years.  

Mr Zafar Iqbal Khan
Mr Zafar Iqbal Khan

Mr Zafar Iqbal Khan said he believed he acted “at all times in the best interests of the company”, adding he now wants to “draw a line” under the experience.  

Mr Khan voluntarily agreed to his disqualification, The Insolvency Service reported on Monday (3 July).  

He stepped down as Carillion’s finance director after eight months in the role and shortly before the construction giant collapsed in January 2018. 

Mr Khan was said to have caused Carillion to rely on “false and misleading financial information”, effectively leading to a misstatement of the company’s 2016 financial performance and its profits on several projects, it is understood. 

The Financial Conduct Authority fined Mr Khan £154,400 last year.  

The financial watchdog also fined Carillion’s former CEO, Richard Howson, £397,800 and Khan’s fellow finance director, Richard Adam, £318,000. 

Carillion collapsed owing close to £7 billion and held around 450 construction and service contracts across government, reported Sky News. 

It is understood Carillion employed around 43,000 people at the time it went under, including 18,000 in the United Kingdom.  

The Insolvency Service is still pursuing cases against other former Carillion directors. 

A trial is set to commence the week of 16 October 2023. 

“I took on the post of finance director of Carillion in January 2017 and I stepped down only eight months later,” said Mr Khan to Construction Wave. “Six years after I stepped down, and five years after the insolvency of Carillion, the regulatory proceedings against me and other directors continue and I have decided, in the interests of my family and finally to draw a line under this process, that I will provide an undertaking not to act as a director.” 

Mr Khan added: “I want to emphasise that when I took on the role I was aware that the Group faced significant commercial challenges and I devoted all my energies to overcoming these challenges. I believe I acted at all times in the best interests of the company. I regret that I was not able to make a big enough difference in the short time I was in post.” 

An Insolvency Service spokesperson said: “The Insolvency Service, acting on behalf of The Secretary of State for Business and Trade, has accepted a disqualification undertaking from Zafar Iqbal Khan for 11 years for his conduct as a director of Carillion Plc. 

“As the litigation against the remaining directors is ongoing, with a trial set to commence the week of 16 October 2023, the Insolvency Service is unable to comment any further.” 

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