Pensions  

Chappell loses appeal against pensions regulator

Chappell loses appeal against pensions regulator

Former BHS boss Dominic Chappell has lost the appeal against his conviction for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

In January, Chappell was convicted of three offences of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents without a reasonable excuse and was told to pay a £50,000 fine, £37,000 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

He lost his appeal on Friday (21 September) at Hove Crown Court, with Judge Christine Henson saying Chappell’s evidence was "entirely unbelievable". 

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Judge Henson, who sat with two magistrates for the appeal, said: "We have concluded that the majority of answers given by the appellant were not credible. He had not provided any reliable evidence to support any of the reasons he says provide him with a reasonable excuse."

The thrice-bankrupt Chappell, 51, bought BHS from billionaire Sir Philip Green for just £1 in March 2015.

The department store went into administration in April 2016, putting workers' retirement incomes at risk and prompting an investigation by TPR.

In the end TPR reached a £363m deal with Sir Philip to fund a new independent pension scheme for 19,000 former BHS workers.

This will give future pensioners the option of the same starting pension they were originally promised by BHS, and higher benefits than they would get from the Pension Protection Fund.

Nicola Parish, TPR’s executive director of frontline regulation, said the watchdog was pleased the court had confirmed Chappell was wrong when he failed to provide information the regulator required as part of its BHS investigation.

She said: "Three different judges have now criticised his behaviour and he is left with a criminal conviction.

"This case should stand as a further warning to others that if we require information from them and they fail or refuse to provide it, they should expect to be prosecuted and convicted."

The case was adjourned for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

maria.espadinha@ft.com