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Insolvency Service ‘to take no action against Thomas Cook directors’

The Insolvency Service says it will take no further action against former directors of Thomas Cook in relation to the tour operator’s collapse in 2019.

Former directors of Thomas Cook, including the chief executive at the time of failure, Peter Fankhauser, are set to be cleared of any wrongdoing by the government’s bankruptcy watchdog after an investigation lasting more than two years following the collapse of the UK’s oldest travel company which caused the biggest repatriation in peacetime history.

An Insolvency Service spokesperson told Sky News: “The liquidation of Thomas Cook Group is a complex and significant insolvency, with the Official Receiver carrying out his duties to ensure an orderly wind-up of the failed travel business in the interests of creditors.

“Based on findings by the Official Receiver following an investigation into the conduct of Thomas Cook’s directors, the Insolvency Service does not currently intend to bring any disqualification proceedings against the directors.”

The business secretary at the time, Andrea Leadsom, had instructed the Insolvency service to investigate Thomas Cook.

She had said: “I ask that the investigation looks not only at the conduct of directors immediately prior to and at insolvency, but also at whether any action by directors has caused detriment to creditors or to the pension schemes.”

Thomas Cook Group went into liquidation with barely £1 million in cash and £31 million in the bank, facing demands for almost £500 million from creditors and partners. Its collapse also triggered £350 million in Atol payouts.

The figures were revealed in documents filed by the company in insolvency proceedings following its collapse in September 2019.

Last year, an employment tribunal found against Thomas Cook, which went into liquidation with about 1,500 London, Manchester and Peterborough head office workers being made redundant without any prior warning or consultation.

Those former Thomas Cook staff were set to claim as much as £4,200 each from the government’s Insolvency Service following the tribunal judgment.

MoreUnion hails Thomas Cook office staff redundancy judgment

Thomas Cook collapsed with £9bn of liabilities [December 19]

Thomas Cook liquidator pays out £18.4m in redundancy [October 19]

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