Regulation  

Chappell ordered to pay £9.5m into BHS schemes

Chappell ordered to pay £9.5m into BHS schemes
 Dominic Chappell, former owner of BHS

Dominic Chappell has been ordered to pay £9.5m into two pension schemes related to the collapsed high street chain BHS.

In a statement issued today (January 14) the Pensions Regulator said Mr Chappell's challenge in the Upper Tribunal has been dismissed which means its former panel decision stands.

A TPR panel had concluded in 2018 that Mr Chappell's actions had contributed to making the situation worse for pension scheme members.

In particular the acquisition of BHS, the appointment of inexperienced board members, the implementation of an 'inadequate' business plan and the way money was extracted and distributed to Mr Chappell, advisers, company directors and family members, had been detrimental, the regulator stated.

TPR issued two contribution notices for a total of £9,542,985 in January 2018 but Mr Chappell had referred the decision to the Upper Tribunal.

The tribunal had dismissed his claim in July and contribution notices were subsequently issued in August, TPR said today.

The Pension Protection Fund is responsible for obtaining the money from Mr Chappell for the benefit of the schemes.

Nicola Parish, TPR’s executive director of frontline regulation, said TPR was pleased about the outcome.

She said: “This case illustrates how TPR is willing to pursue a case through the courts to seek redress for pension savers. It illustrates the situations our anti-avoidance powers were designed to meet and which allow us to protect the retirement incomes that savers deserve.”

The thrice bankrupt Mr Chappell bought BHS from billionaire Sir Philip Green for £1 in March 2015.

But days later TPR demanded hundreds of documents in relation to a £571m pension blackhole at the high street chain.

BHS went into administration in April 2016, putting workers' retirement nest eggs at risk and TPR had been investigating the case since.

In 2017 a £363m settlement with Sir Philip was reached to fund a new independent pension scheme for 19,000 former BHS workers.

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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