Former BHS owner Sir Philip Green vowed to address the pensions issues that dogged the retailer giant when he appeared before MPs today.
Speaking to a joint hearing of the Business and the Work and Pensions select committee, Sir Philip said his advisers were working on a “resolvable” solution to meet the needs of the scheme’s 20,000 members and also made a commitment to resolve the “mess” that followed the collapse of the retail giant.
During his 15 years at helm, £400m in dividends were taken out of the firm and the scheme now has a £571m deficit.
Despite his commitments, Sir Philip remained unclear on precise detailed on how he would address these issues. While he admitted “there have been some stupid, stupid mistakes made,” he also said he was able to answer “virtually no questions” on the pensions fund.
“With respect, you are asking me questions that are impossible to answer.”
At present, the scheme is now in the Pension Protection Fund, which means its members will receive less money than they had initially anticipated.
As questioning progressed, he denied that he personally taken money from BHS, telling MPs that that would not have known how to take money out of the business himself.
Quizzed on the issue of responsibility, Sir Philip said “There has to be some responsibility on behalf of trustees” and that “someone was clearly asleep at the wheel.”
Don’t miss the next issue of Director of Finance for full coverage of the BHS aftermath.