The government has announced it will consider extending the Pension Regulator’s powers in the wake of BHS’s downfall.
Business minister Margot James said in a letter responding to the recent parliamentary report on BHS, that: “We are actively considering these issues and should we need to bring forward further legislation in light of all the evidence then we will of course do so.”
In light of the this the work and pensions committee is examining how to improve regulation to be more effective and prevent a repeat of BHS. James added that the government understood the importance of the inquiry and would be considering the committee’s findings.
Following last week’s debate which called for Sir Philip Green to be stripped of his knighthood, the main focus will be on ensuring Green makes good on his promise to reimburse those 22,000 employees whose pensions have been effected.
The pensions deficit is estimated to stand at up to £700 million, and a contribution of at least £300 million will be required from Green to be able to ensure the pensions are paid.
Green reported took over £580 million in dividends and other payments from the company. Many experts have argued that because these were taken out of the business when BHS was financially healthy, the legal case to force him to pay up is weak.
According to James, 10 per cent of the Insolvency Service’s investigatory power is currently devoted to BHS.