Government pushes on company director ‘trustworthiness’

Speaking after former record bankrupt William Stern and his son Mark Stern were disqualified from acting as directors yesterday after the High Court found them to be unfit to be company directors, Howells said: ‘Directors hold a privileged position in society.

‘It is only fair and reasonable that we expect them to be competent and trustworthy. If they fall below these standards we will take action to disqualify them. This is a message that should be put up in every boardroom.’

William Stern, whose second property empire went into insolvent liquidation with debts totalling more than £14m, was disqualified for 12 years and Mark Stern was disqualified for 4 years.

After being discharged from bankruptcy in 1985 William Stern built up his second property empire. The court heard how Stern and his son traded at the risk of creditors and drew out large sums of money, which appeared to have no basis, between 1990 and 1994 even though creditors of the companies controlled by them were being left unpaid.

The DTI said any person with information to suggest that anyone has acted in contravention of this provision should telephone the Disqualification Hotline on 0845 601 3546

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