British regulators say they may investigate Thomas Cook collapse

British regulators said Tuesday they may investigate the collapse of the travel firm Thomas Cook, which left more than 600,000 vacationers stranded this week.

Two British Government’s officials speak with a traveler at Tenerife Sur airport, in Tenerife Island, Spain, Tuesday. British regulators said Tuesday they are considering an investigation into the collapse of travel firm Thomas Cook. Photo by Ramo de la Rocha.

The Financial Reporting Council said it was contemplating an investigation after the British government confirmed an Insolvency Service’s investigation.

“In light of recent developments at Thomas Cook we are considering whether there is any case for investigation and enforcement action as a matter of urgency and in cooperation with the Insolvency Service,” the council said in a statement.

The Insolvency Service said Monday in a statement that court-appointed special managers will assist the official receiver with the liquidation of Thomas Cook.

“All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been canceled,” the Insolvency Service said. “All of Thomas Cook’s retail shops will close with immediate effect. The Government is working with the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority to help passengers return to the U.K.”

The Guardian reported that British Airways and easyJet are helping bring Thomas Cook vacationers home from a wide variety of locations, including the United States, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Africa.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Sunday that a contingency plan has been put into place to return vacationers while Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted at government action against Thomas Cook.

It’s not just Britons who are affected. Belgium authorities said Tuesday about 10,000 of their residents using Thomas Cook have been affected as well.

“Half the (Thomas Cook) agencies (in Belgium) are closed,” Els De Coster of the liberal union told Belga news agency.

ByClyde Hughes