Pensions watchdog prosecutes former BHS boss

The former boss of retail chain BHS has been summonsed to court by TPR for failing to reveal information on the sale of the retailer.

Pensions watchdog prosecutes former BHS boss

The Pensions Regulator (TPR), the pensions watchdog, announced yesterday (August 22) it is to prosecute Chappell for failing to provide information and documents it requested during its investigation into the sale of BHS.

Chappell was the director and majority shareholder of the company, Retail Acquisitions, which acquired BHS in 2015 for £1 from Sir Phillip Green.

Just over a year later, in 2016, BHS was placed into administration resulting in the closure of 164 stores, the loss of 11,000 jobs and a pension deficit of £571m. Retail Acquisitions then entered liquidation in May 2017.

TPR is prosecuting Chappell for failing to comply with three notices issued under Section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004.

Under Section 72 TPR has the power to require pension schemes, employers and third parties to provide the regulator with information and documents relevant to its functions.

The notices requiring information were issued to Chappell in April and May of 2016 and February 2017.

In between this period, in November 2016, both Chappell and Green were sent a notice setting out the arguments and evidence as to why the regulator believed they should both support the BHS pension schemes.

In February 2017, Sir Philip Green agreed in a settlement with the regulator to hand over £363m in cash to the BHS pension scheme.

Investigations into Chappell continue. The regulator has summoned him to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on September 20 this year to face three charges of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents, without a reasonable excuse.