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'Bad business decisions and personal greed': The BHS report in quotes

MPs have slammed Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green for his role in the demise of 88-year old department store chain BHS, as stores start to close their doors for the final time around the country. Here are the most damning quotes from the report.

“BHS’s demise has created many losers… This episode is not, however, without winners. Many of those closest to the decisions that led to the collapse of BHS have walked away greatly enriched despite the company’s failure.” 

“The improvement in BHS’s profitability in the early years of Sir Philip’s tenure is indisputable. However, this appears to have been achieved primarily through cost-cutting measures and squeezing suppliers.”

“Sir Philip Green’s family accrued incredible wealth during the early, profitable years of BHS ownership. Over the duration of their tenure, significantly more money left the company than was invested in it.”

“We reject any assertion that Sir Philip was not aware of the growth of the [pension] deficit: he had responsibility to be aware and he was aware. That there is a massive deficit is ultimately Sir Philip Green’s responsibility.”

“The most worrying insight into the exercise of corporate governance was obtained in examining the decision to sell BHS itself, in which the chairman of the selling company, Lord Grabiner, played no effective part… For this deplorable performance he received a considerable salary.”

“Sir Philip Green sought to sell a chain that had become a financial milestone and threatened his reputation. He knew that Dominic Chappell was a wholly unsuitable purchaser but overlooked or made good each of Chappell’s shortcomings and proceeded with a rushed sale regardless.”

“Dominic Chappell was out of his depth. He was over-optimistic to the point of arrogance… In effect, he had his hands in the till. His description of £2.6m that he personally took, in addition to an outstanding £1.5m family loan as ‘a drip in the ocean’, is an insult to the employees and pensioners of BHS that he let down.”

“Even when arranging loans for their struggling company on extraordinary terms, [Dominic Chappell and his team] could not resist taking a substantial cut for themselves.”

“RAL board members exploited BHS for their personal gain and Dominic Chappell was the worst culprit.”

“Sir Philip Green, Dominic Chappell and their respective directors, advisers and hangers-on are all culpable. The tragedy is that those who have lost out are the ordinary employees and pensioners. This is the unacceptable face of capitalism.”

“We found little evidence to support the reputation for retail business acumen for which [Sir Philip Green] received his knighthood.”

“We still do not doubt that Sir Philip has heartfelt affection for BHS. To an extent it created him; it could also bring him down.”

“The demise of BHS was a result of a series of bad business decisions and personal greed… Reputable businesses are appalled by events at BHS.”

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