BEIS Committee Seeks Answers on Liberty Steel & GFG Alliance
UK Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Chair British Member of Parliament Mr Darren Jones has written to GFG Alliance owner Mr Sanjeev Gupta with a series of questions relating to the Committee’s inquiry on Liberty Steel & the future of the UK steel industry. Mr Jones said “In the evidence we have heard so far in our inquiry, a story has emerged of the unusual extent to which Sanjeev Gupta personally controls the finances of Liberty Steel and its associated companies. Liberty Steel companies have received hundreds of millions in taxpayer-backed loans and the GFG Alliance has been in receipt of millions more in Government guaranteed-funding.
Given the taxpayer’s considerable exposure to GFG Alliance, it is right for Parliament, and the public, to expect Mr Gupta to emerge from behind his lawyers and come forward with meaningful responses to key questions relating to Liberty Steel and the GFG Alliance.”
The Committee’s correspondence to Mr Gupta covers a number of areas relating to the BEIS Committee’s inquiry, including
Access to Government support
The Liberty Steel-GFG Alliance relationship
Liberty Steel’s financial position
Greensill Capital’s and Wyelands Bank’s financing of GFG Alliance
Accounting and audit practices
Mr Sanjeev Gupta refused to give oral evidence in public to the Committee’s inquiry. Mr Gupta has indicated he would answer questions in writing. The question topics of the letter mirror the subject areas which would have been raised in the previously scheduled public evidence session with Mr Gupta.
GFG’s companies were paid GBP 350 million across seven Government-backed Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme loans from Greensill.
Several other investigations are taking place into GFG Alliance and Greensill Capital alongside the one by the Business Committee. These include inquiries by the Treasury Select Committee the Public Accounts Committee and the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee. The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into GFG and its financing arrangements with Greensill. The National Audit Office is probing Greensill’s involvement in a Government-backed pandemic loan scheme, which is also being looked at by the British Business Bank. The accounting watchdog, the Financial Reporting Council, is also investigating the auditors of Greensill and Wyelands Bank.