The Serious Fraud Office has launched a formal investigation into credit card processing company E-Clear, according to reports.

The firm, which collapsed earlier this year, is thought to have caused the failure of Scottish airline Globespan in 2009 after it withheld £35 million of its money.

The SFO has been in touch with administrators BDO, the accountants handling the administration of E-Clear.

BDO is thought to be working on a plan to recover assets from E-Clear chief executive Elias Elia, a Cypriot national, who has stayed in the UK since his company’s collapse. 

In March, BDO said they had uncovered just £72,000.

Elia claims he is personally owed millions because of the failure, and has lodged a claim with the administrator.

The Prevention of Fraud in Travel Group has repeatedly called for an investigation into the firm.