Memorial masons disqualified as directors for taking deposits when insolvent

lettercutting on a memorial

The Directors of memorial masons Barningham Memorials Ltd of Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, have been disqualified from being directors for a total of 14 years for taking deposits in excess of £30,000 from customers in spite of knowing their business was insolvent.

Paul Richard Hubbard and Susan Ann Hubbard, both in their 60s, have been disqualified as directors for eight and six years, respectively, from this month (August 2022).

Barningham Memorials had traded since 2003 but went into liquidation in March 2020.

However, the Insolvency Service says the company was in fact insolvent from August 2019. However, it continued to take payments and deposits from would-be customers, despite knowing it would not be able to provide the finished products. In total, the company took more than £30,000 from 41 customers during this period.

The company had received a five-year ban on installing memorials by North East Lincolnshire Council in 2015 for failing to adhere to local regulations and was forced to rely on subcontractors to install its memorials.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy accepted disqualification undertakings from both directors after they did not dispute that they had been responsible for the company continuing to take money from customers while it was insolvent.

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

The disqualification undertakings prevent them from directly, or indirectly, becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company without the permission of a court.

Rob Clarke, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service said: “Any business in financial difficulty should be aware that its primary duty is to its creditors, and ensuring that their losses are minimised.

“In continuing to accept pre-payments for memorials which they had no reasonable prospect of supplying, Paul and Susan Hubbard have caused additional pain to grieving families over and above the purely financial loss.”

Paul Richard Hubbard and Susan Ann Hubbard are currently living in Scotland.