BHS drama gets murkier
Sir Philip Green plans to stump up £250m to redress BHS’ pension gap – an offer that is £100m less than what the Pension Regulator is demanding.
Sir Philip says he had presented “a credible and substantial proposal”.
The news comes as the regulator is looking at ways to help 20,000 pension scheme members. It has sent warning notices to Sir Philip, his retail group, and Dominic Chappell, the tycoon who bought BHS for £1 last year.
Lesley Titcomb, chief executive of the Pensions Regulator, said: “Our decision to launch enforcement action is an important milestone in our work to attain redress for the thousands of members of BHS schemes who have been placed in this position through no fault of their own.”
Frank Field, who co-chaired a parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of BHS, said: “We are not surprised that the Pensions Regulator has, like all the rest of us, lost patience with Sir Philip Green’s excuses and empty promises.”
Iain Wright, the other chairman of the inquiry, said that five months after Sir Philip told MPs he would “sort out the pensions mess” he has put “no credible plan or cash on the table”.
“We have seen stalling for time, lack of real progress in the negotiations and that’s why the regulator has to do what it has done – understandable, regrettable, but I can perfectly understand what’s been going on,” he told the BBC.