26 July 2011

Victory for Essex Business School Professor

Colchester Campus

After a five year battle Essex Business School Professor of Accounting Prem Sikka has secured the release of information about the closure of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) in 1991.

Three judges have unanimously ordered HM's Treasury to publish most of the information missing from what became known as the Sandstorm report into the bank's affairs. Information from this report led the Government at the time to close the bank's operations in the UK, leading to the collapse of the bank worldwide. Many local councils and 1.4 million depositors lost nearly 11 million dollars between them.

Professor Sikka said: "I am pleased I have now had a degree of success. It was the biggest banking fraud of all times but the UK Government protected wrongdoers through secrecy."

The Government can comply with the order or appeal to a higher court within 35 days.

In 2006 Professor Sikka lodged a freedom of information request for a copy of the Sandstorm report. but the Treasury declined. He asked the Information Commissioner to intervene but he sided with the Treasury. Professor Sikka pursued the matter through the Information Tribunal and represented himself.

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