COMMONS

BHS sale and pensions: "worrying" timeline of BHS-TPR interaction published

23 May 2016

The Work and Pensions Committee has published the timeline of BHS interaction with the Pensions Regulator, while the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee has concurrently published correspondence from PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and ICAEW (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) in relation to their inquiries on BHS.

Correspondence

The Committees published a series of new correspondence and evidence, including a "worrying"  timeline of BHS interaction with the Pensions Regulator, Lesley Titcomb to Frank Field MP regarding timeline of TPR's actions (PDF 125KB)

BHS pensions:

The sale of BHS:

Richard Fuller MP, BIS Committee member, wrote to PwC, auditors to BHS, to raise questions relating to the timing of the auditor's report and the sale of BHS Limited. Richard Fuller also wrote to the ICAEW with broader questions on auditing practice.

Chair's comment:

Frank Field MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

"This information paints a worrying picture of the last 18 months of Sir Philip Green’s tenure at BHS. A solution superior to where BHS and its pension scheme has ended up may have been available, but for whatever reason it was not achieved. The timeline poses further questions for all the major players. Was the Regulator as passive, slow-moving and shut out as it appears? And where did the trustees and the fleets of advisers to all sides fit in the web? Why was Arcadia Group not more forthcoming with the information requested by the Regulator and trustees?

We will be hearing from Arcadia and its advisers today and from the pension scheme trustees on Wednesday. We will question them on these developments. We will also need to put more questions to, and demand more documents from, the Regulator."

Further information

Image: PA

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