Sir Philip Green grilled by MPs over role in BHS failure

Sir Philip Green giving evidence to MPs [Image: Sky News].

Sir Philip Green giving evidence to MPs [Image: Sky News].

Sir Philip Green, the Arcadia tycoon, has been appearing before Parliamentary committees to explain his role in the collapse of British Home Stores (BHS).

The issue is probably particularly important to him as he has faced calls to be stripped of his knighthood.

He owned BHS until a year ago, when he sold it to ex-bankrupt Dominic Chappell, who has already given evidence.

The firm collapsed in April, leaving a huge hole in its pension fund that means former employees face the loss of 30 per cent of their pension pot.

In evidence, Sir Philip appears to have admitted responsibility for the £50 million pensions black hole, although at the time of writing he has made no offer to sort it out.

One bizarre moment occurred when Sir Philip addressed Richard Fuller MP: “Sir, do you mind not staring at me like that… it’s making me uncomfortable.” Look at him in a funny way?

Mr Fuller responded that, in his career, he has learnt “if you’re doing something important you should look them straight in the eye”.

One very disturbing moment was when Sir Philip suggested that links between BHS and Arcadia should be dealt with at his offices, by back office staff. This information would not be evidence to the committee; Mike Ashley tried the same dodge several times regarding Sports Direct.

The billionaire businessman used his opening remarks to apologise to BHS staff affected by the collapse, saying there was “certainly no intent on my part to be involved in this”

Chair Frank Field asks why Sir Philip Green moved to Monaco, with all its tax advantages. An evasive Sir Philip Green responds: “Someone suggested it”.

Sir Philip seeks to avoid providing information regarding the link between BHS and his company Arcadia by saying. “I don’t want to discuss it because it’s not my forte,” he says, adding: “I might give you some wrong information.” He would prefer MPs visit the offices themselves and he’ll get his back office staff to deal with it.

Sir Philip Green addresses the central allegation he has has siphoned off cash from businesses he owned: “I have never made or moved one penny from any bank account of our company and I wouldn’t even know where to phone to get any money out of our bank.”

The former BHS boss is now being grilled on pensions. One of the key questions he has to answer is whether more could have been done under his management to protect the pension fund. The firm now faces a multi-billion blackhole following its collapse.

Sir Philip says “I was not in charge of the pension fund”, but MPs are not impressed. Michelle Thompson MP asks: “Surely you’re ultimately responsible?”

Sir Philip accepts responsibility for a £50m collapse in the BHS pension fund.

“It’s my fault. The answer is it wasn’t dealt with, we’re here and we’ve got to find a solution,” he says

Source: BHS collapse: Sir Philip Green grilled by MPs over role in failure of retail chain – live | Politics | News | London Evening Standard


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7 thoughts on “Sir Philip Green grilled by MPs over role in BHS failure

  1. Dez

    A total disgrace to the honours system….another greedy spiv. milking the system for what he can get out of it…..and unfortunately lack lustre financial policing, rules and poor policies, tame auditing that allow such happenings. Monaco is the place where one finds all the rich and famous and not necessarily there as a result of the sunshine and the yacht basins. As usual follow the money. Apart from the usual public embarresment and display of appearing and being cross examined in front of these parliamentary committees does anything change or happen? Are these Committes man enough for the job….have they enough sharp teeth or is it yet another political talking shop..

  2. Thomas Doherty

    I watched part 1 of the Philip Green interview and I was really shocked at Greens lack of basic business acumen. It reinforced my long held opinion that it isn’t the depth of a person’s knowledge that dictates their rise in stature it is luck and being in the right place at the right time, not saying that a degree of intelligence doesn’t help. He is a complete bullshitter, he tried to say he didn’t think he was ultimately responsible for having no pension fund left, and he said he didn’t tell lies, the man never stopped. He is a twat of a man ignorant, loud, bullish, and a bully.

    1. Dez

      Unfortunately from my experience in multi national business it is just these loud mouthed,gobby,ignorant, bullyboys that always fast track their way to the top of the pile mainly because fellow managers/directors just do not know how to deal with them. They also leave a trail of costly mistakes, which they sell as good decisions, and end up on the Board because no one was man enough to show them the door. Also have habit of helping themselves to perks not entitled to and pushing the boundaries of integrity and honesty…..and certainly have little business acumen….bit like the spivvy takeover merchant who picked up Greens BHS from Poundland.

  3. mohandeer

    At least we know where the pension funds are. Unfortunately the staff can’t get their hands on it, only Green can access them.

Comments are closed.