BHS: Dominic Chappell and RAL directors "should be accountable"

23 June 2016

The BIS and Work & Pensions Committees published further written evidence on the collapse of BHS.

The evidence includes a letter to Dominic Chappell from Iain Wright and Frank Field (PDF PDF 1.14 MB), asking for further details of the funds he personally took out of BHS under his one year stewardship of the struggling High Street institution.

The Committees are additionally publishing a letter from BHS Chief Executive Darren Topp (PDF PDF 153 KB), laying out payments made to RAL "connected staff" and outlining Mr Topp’s concerns over the governance and accounts BHS under RAL, and of Dominic Chapell’s style of financial stewardship. This document includes details of a December 2015 "hardship payment" salary advance Mr Chappell took after his attempt to buy holiday flights to the Bahamas on the company travel budget was refused by Mr Topp.

Also published today is a longer matrix of financial information sent from RAL advisers Olswang to The Pensions Regulator (PDF PDF 1.95 MB), which details some of the loans taken by RAL, and BHS monies paid to RAL directors. The amounts laid out include £400,000 apiece to Stephen Bourne and Mark Tasker, both of whom resigned their directorships the day the BHS sale to RAL completed, and a further £460,000 to Eddie Parladorio.

Chair's comment

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

"While the main focus of this inquiry has been the stewardship of BHS and its pension fund in the run up to the sale to RAL, and the exact circumstances of that sale, the directors of RAL – who were paid very handsomely for their role in the sale – cannot escape scrutiny for the plight of BHS and its pension fund.

We are still elucidating the full story of the final collapse of BHS, but it happened under Dominic Chappell and RAL’s stewardship: they should also account fully and properly for their decisions and actions, some of which appear quite extraordinary."

Further information

Image: PA

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