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R3's Letter to the Editor of the Times on proposed changes to Companies House Records


Erasing the records of closed companies after only six years (Times, 2nd August) would be detrimental to fraud investigations. Insolvency practitioners investigate company directors and return money to creditors once a company enters insolvency. It can take time to uncover a director’s fraudulent behaviour, and even longer to trace hidden assets.

It’s not unusual for action to be taken against a dissolved company many years later. Fraudsters often dissolve their corporate vehicles in the hope that no one will pursue them.
There are already inadequate checks on directors registering companies, and it’s not uncommon to discover directors that are involved in several companies which have gone out of business. While repeated company failures do not necessarily signal wrongdoing, it’s very useful to have evidence of directors’ track records.
Deleting records after such a short period of time will destroy evidence, hide past director behaviour and give fraudsters a clean slate.
Frances Coulson, Chair of the Fraud Group, R3 the insolvency and restructuring trade body
This letter can be viewed on the Times website here

Notes to editors:

  • R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals and represents the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners.

  • R3 comments on a wide variety of personal and corporate insolvency issues. Contact the press office, or see for further information.

  • R3 promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled individuals and businesses; all R3 members are regulated by recognised professional bodies
  • R3 stands for 'Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal' and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.