Pensions Regulator warns it will use recovery powers if a deal is not reached in weeks.
The Pensions Regulator is yet to receive a “credible written” offer from Sir Philip Green relating to the gaping BHS pensions deficit he promised to “sort” in summer, it emerged in an ITV documentary broadcast last night. And if a deal is not reached in weeks, the regulator intends to ”use its recovery powers to recover the money”.
A spokesman for the Pensions Regulator told Drapers: “Our focus remains on achieving the best possible outcome for members of the BHS pension scheme and PPF levy payers, and our discussions with Sir Philip Green and his advisers about a possible settlement are ongoing.
”We are yet to receive a comprehensive and credible written proposal and have made clear what we require in this regard.”
In an interview for the programme, Green said he has another meeting scheduled with the regulator to “iron out any technicalities” and is very close to making a written offer.
“My priority is to fix this,” he said. “Six days before I was due to the parliamentary hearing, I had to have a stent in my heart – I didn’t try and avoid it. I sat there for six hours and stood up to what I have to do.”
He said he was “sad and very, very, very sorry for all the hardship and sadness caused” to former BHS employees and its pensioners by the collapse of the high street chain.
He reiterated that he had invested more money into BHS – around £800m – than he took out in dividends – around £300m – when the business was profitable.
On selling BHS to Dominic Chappell, Green said: “I don’t want to make any excuses. He was clearly catastrophically the wrong buyer but we made that decision, and for the last year my family and I have had to live with that horrible decision.
“I want to fix this,” he added.