Sir Philip Green has hit back at claims made by MP Frank Field that he is “unwilling” to sort the BHS pension deficit, stating that he is working on finding a resolution on a “daily basis”.
Green, who has been criticised for dragging his feet on plugging the gap in the pensions of 20,000 former BHS workers, said he is “still aiming to find a solution” to the problem.
“I, together with my executives, have been co-operating with the Pensions Regulator for some 17 to 18 months providing whatever has been requested, on a very regular basis,” Green said in a statement issued this morning.
“I stated at the [work and pensions select committee] hearing that it was my intention to try to find a solution, which is a voluntary one, to the Bhs Pensions and that is still my aim,” he continued.
Green hit back at Field who said the retailer was unwilling to reach a settlement: “Since before the company was sold in March 2015, it was always our intention to find a plan for the BHS pensioners that was better than the Pension Protection Fund and that remains the case today.
“Mr Field suggested in the House of Commons on Wednesday there was a lack of willingness on my part to reach a settlement with regard to the pension fund. This is untrue, totally inaccurate and unhelpful in solving this issue,” he added.
Green then apologised to all the BHS workers involved.
“I would like to apologise sincerely to all the Bhs people involved in this sorry affair. Contrary to all the coverage I have been working on this issue on a daily basis, and will continue to do so with my best efforts to achieve a satisfactory outcome for all involved as soon as possible.”