Investigation Branch (CIB)
is part of the regulatory arm of the Department for Business,
Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR).
Prior to the creation of BERR, it was part of the Department of
Trade & Industry.
CIB is located within the Insolvency Service, an Executive
Agency of BERR, it is not limited to companies that have
become insolvent. In fact, most of its investigations are into
companies that are actively trading. Please see our “Frequently
Asked Questions” for details of what we can and cannot
In a free market,
all those who deal with companies whether as investors, suppliers
or consumers should be protected from misconduct or unscrupulous
all need to feel confident in our dealings with the business
community. As investors, creditors and consumers, we need to know
our money is secure, and have trust in corporate Britain.
this confidence, investment, sales and markets fall. We need to
keep promoting confidence.
only is confidence enhanced by transparency and accountability,
but by an effective and discerning system of regulation. Our
approach to this is to take a proportionate and realistic view of
issues brought to our attention, and to investigate aspects of
corporate behaviour which might harm both the business community
and the public generally.
the Companies Acts we have the power to investigate companies.
When we receive information about the behaviour of particular
companies we will assess that information to see whether or not it
would be appropriate for us to attend on that company, and ask
them to provide us with documents and information. This allows us
to come to a view as to whether or not there are grounds for
action in the wider public interest and decide what action we
do not carry out criminal investigations - those are better left
to the police - although our investigations may provide the basis
for a subsequent
criminal enquiry. We
cannot intervene in any dispute between individuals and a company,
be they creditors, shareholders or the company’s own management
- although we may investigate the issues giving rise to the
dispute if there is a wider public interest in doing so.
investigations are confidential, and that is why we do not tell
complainants whether or not we are going to investigate, or, when
we do decide to investigate, tell the company’s directors the
reasons why we are doing so or who has complained.
also carry out a risk assessment of each case to ensure that those
cases with a higher level of risk to the public are given
What we do
What we do not do
How we do it
What can happen
How to complain
Press Releases (from April 2006)