Frank Field MP, chairman of the Work and Pensions committee, before whom Sir Philip appeared in June, said he wasn’t surprised with the regulator’s actions. “His answer throughout our inquiry was always that he was going to ‘sort’ the disastrous position he left the pension fund in.… We are glad to see the regulator is now calling his bluff and instigating enforcement proceedings,” Mr Field said.
Iain Wright MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said: “Sir Philip said he would sort it but he has not yet been true to his word. He has not come up with the money to satisfy the regulator, who has clearly and quite rightly now lost patience with his obviously empty promises.”
Sir Philip Green said: “I have read the statement from the Pensions Regulator this evening and noted its contents. I have provided the Regulator with what I believe to be a credible and substantial proposal, with evidence and bank confirmation of cash availability, which would prevent the scheme from entering the Pension Protection Fund. This is in order to achieve a better outcome for the BHS pensioners.
“I have also spoken to the Chairman of the Trustees who is supportive of the proposal on the basis that it provides members with better benefits than they would receive from the PPF.
“I believe the above statement confirms the statement of intent that I made in regard to the BHS pensioners.”