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Standard Life Aberdeen and Brewin probed over Carillion

Standard Life Aberdeen and Brewin probed over Carillion

MPs from committees across two government departments are questioning the heads of some of the top fund and wealth firms as part of its investigation into Carillion's collapse.

MPs on the work and pensions and the business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committees have written to some of the contractor's major shareholders: Standard Life Aberdeen chief executives Martin Gilbert and Keith Skeoch; stockbroker Brewin Dolphin chief executive David Nicol; BlackRock's global head of financial markets advisory, Charles Hatami; and Deutsche Bank and UBS chiefs John Cryan and Sergio Ermotti.

After unsuccessful talks with its lenders and the UK government, Carillion made an application on 15 January to the High Court for compulsory liquidation.

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Carillion, which employs about 43,000 people, has been struggling for several months, issuing a profit warning last year that sank its share price – which has fallen from more than £2 a year ago to about 14.2p just before it went into administration.

The committees are seeking answers regarding Carillion's board performance, the effectiveness of the board's stakeholder engagement and whether its major institutional investors complied with the stewardship code plus what lay behind each of their decisions to sell shares in Carillion when they did.

The institutions have until 2 February to submit their responses.

The committees have also written to Santander, who stopped payments to some Carillion suppliers without notice in December, and to the Federation of Small Business, which was asked to provide an overview of the company's supplier payment and how many of those supplier businesses have been affected directly or indirectly so far by the firms collapse.

MPs have also contacted HM Revenue & Customs, which has been asked about Carillion's performance in paying tax and total outstanding tax liability.

The committees have previously written to the Big Four financial services firms - KPMG, EY, PWC and Deloitte – demanding details about their relationship with the collapsed outsourcing giant.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) announced earlier this week that it is conducting an investigation into KPMG's audit of the financial statements of Carillion.

The next Parliamentary hearing of the investigation into the Carillion collapse will take place next week (6 February) in Parliament.

maria.espadinha@ft.com