Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell forced to pay £124,000 for failing to provide information about pension scheme

17 December 2018

Dominic Chappell – the businessman that bought BHS for £1 – has been ordered to pay £124,000 by a judge for his repeated failure to provide information about the failed retailer’s pension scheme.

BHS went into administration in April 2016 leaving a pension deficit worth £571m, following Sir Phillip Green’s sale of the business to Mr Chappell the previous year.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) says it requested vital information about the sale of the business and its pension scheme from the former bankrupt three times.

The ruling follows an appeal from Mr Chappell against his original conviction in January.

Judge Christine Henson QC said his appeal was “completely without merit” and that he showed a “complete lack of remorse” for his actions.

She added: “It was persistent. It was deliberate. It was a blatant refusal to comply with the requests.

“His refusal to comply with the Section 72 requests caused significant delay to TPR’s task. It made their work significantly more difficult.”

Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation at TPR adds: “His repeated claims that he does not have to give us what we have been seeking have now been rejected by two different courts.

“Information notices are a vital investigative tool for us. As this case shows, if you ignore them you are committing a crime and should expect to be prosecuted.”

Nathan Long, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown adds that now the focus should be on ensuring that such pension problems aren't allowed to be repeated.

"The pound spent on acquiring BHS looks an even worse deal for Dominic Chappell now after being hit with fines for his part in overseeing a cut in the pension pay-outs for staff, despite the excellent safety net of the Pension Protection Fund.

"The challenge for the Pension Regulator is to ensure that other schemes are not put into the same precarious position in the first place, as opposed to trying to crack down on the villains in the aftermath," he says.


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