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Directors under fire at owners of Welcome Car Finance

Shareholders yesterday quizzed directors of Cattles, the sub-prime lender, why they had failed to rectify years of bad debts that led to a £700m black hole in its accounts.

Cattles closed its Welcome Car Finance book earlier this year and the group broke its bank covenants and remains in rescue restructuring talks.

Investors confronted its non-executives yesterday, led by Margaret Young, now acting as executive chairman, claiming they had failed to see the warning signs.

Young insisted the non-executives had acted diligently but had been unable to get the full picture of practices at Welcome because executives had fed them incomplete information.

Seven executives have been sacked by Cattles, and the misaccounting scandal is under investigation by the Financial Services Authority.

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