A FORMER PPI claims firm - which once employed 300 people across Bury and Bolton - is facing being wound up by the taxman.

If HM Revenue and Customs succeeds in its against Harringtons Advisory it will bring to an end an extraordinary chapter in local finance.

First incorporated in 2012, the former Castlecroft Road company was established at the height of the boom in private protection insurance claims, with a call centre at the Bury offices, employing around 180, and another opened in Bolton, late 2015, at Stone Cross House, in Churchgate.

But according the company’s last filed accounts, in January, two factors ultimately hampered the operation.

An audit by the Ministry of Justice into the activities, started in February 2016, would lead to their PPI licence being withdrawn in December 2017.

Another inquiry was reportedly conducted by HM Revenue and Customs into the supposed tax liabilities of a a remuneration trust, which director David Grimshaw acknowledged in the accounts had received £7,189,444 in 2016 and £9,8889,000 in 2017.

Tax officials, when asked by the Bury Times, claimed they had no record of such an investigation.

The upshot was the headcount at Harringtons dropped from 330 to around 50 in August 2017 and just 12 by February 2018.

Mr Grimshaw is the sole remaining director at Harringtons. Former managing director Ibrar Akbar, a former Derby High student, resigned from the board in May.

In response to an enquiry regarding the insolvency action, a HMRC spokesman added: “We cannot comment on individual taxpayers or businesses.”

Harringtons was unavailable for comment. The winding-up petition was being heard at the High Court as the Bury Times went to press.