The British government has launched an investigation of scandal-rocked Bell Pottinger, which collapsed last year in the aftermath of its racist campaign in South Africa on behalf of Oakbay investment firm of the Gupta family.
The Insolvency Service, which investigates compulsory liquidations and bankruptcies to determine why firms become insolvent, has sent letters to former BP directors to explore “potential breaches of duties or other misconduct by reference to the operation of the Oakbay account,” according to a Sept. 9 report in Financial Times.
Michael Gibbs, head of channels & campaigns for The Insolvency Service, told O'Dwyer's via an email: "We have not issued any statement on an investigation into the conduct of the former directors of Bell Pottinger, however under UK insolvency law it is required to file information about director conduct with the Insolvency Service in all cases where a company uses an insolvency procedure.
"We vet this information and can take action to have directors banned for up to 15 years in cases where we believe unfit conduct has occurred," he said.
BP co-founder Tim Bell told the FT he’s delighted with the probe “because they’ll uncover the terrible things that happened.
Though he traveled to South Africa to pitch the Oakbay account, Bell claims to be unaware of any wrongdoing.
He told the FT that he agreed with BP’s ethics committee to reject Oakbay as a client because “because I didn’t think they were very nice people.”