Grant Thornton accused of conflict amid Greensill appointment

It has emerged that the group reportedly advised Greensill’s largest debtor on a number of deals before its appointment as administrator of the firm

Grant Thornton has become the latest accountancy firm to be accused of having a conflict of interests between its insolvency and advisory divisions.

It comes as the group had been appointed as Greensill Capital’s administrator on 15 March, following its collapse as Credit Suisse cut off a $10bn (£7bn) fund.

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However, according to the Sunday Times, Grant Thornton has also previously advised the finance firm’s largest debtor Sanjeev Gupta on a number of deals.

The professional services group reportedly supported the oil tycoon’s metals business with transactions in Scotland, Wales, and France.

A spokesperson at Grant Thornton told the Times that “prior to accepting” its appointment as Greensill’s administrator, the group gave “careful consideration to the code of ethics relating to such matters”.

The group arrived at the conclusion that “there is no threat to our independence as a result of any prior relationships”. 

The spokesperson added: “Moreover, in line with the administrators’ statutory obligations and standard reporting processes, any relevant prior relationships will be disclosed to creditors in due course.”

Greensill was reportedly forced to cover the funds of a number of defaulting debtors last year, while also losing a legal battle in Australia to extend its insurance beyond 1 March.

In turn Credit Suisse froze its Greensill-linked bonds, which are now being liquidated and returned to investors.

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