BHS admin fees nudge £5m with no signs of slowing

Tussles between the numerous parties involved in the liquidation of BHS continue, as Frank Field MP condemns both the Pensions Regulator and administrator Duff & Phelps.

The chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee criticised the Pensions Regulator for its sluggish progress on extracting cash from the failed retailer, telling the Press Association that “if there are legal impediments they need to tell us”.

The BHS pensions deficit is still a long way from being sorted, leaving tens of thousands of people with decreased pension pots.

Field went on to say the Pension Protection Fund‘s choice to hire a second administrator alongside Duff & Phelps, who were chosen by Sir Philip Green, was “vindicated”.

It was revealed earlier this week that Duff & Phelps, who have now stepped down from administration duties, posted a bill of £4.03 million for their efforts, 15 per cent more than previously stated. 

This is also five times more than what counterparts FRP Advisory are charging for their duties.

“The costs of the demise of BHS continue to spiral as the pensioners wait for Sir Philip Green to sort the pension fund,” Field said.

“The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) are already left scrabbling for a few pence in the pound from what is left of the wreckage of BHS.

“Meanwhile Duff and Phelps, who were appointed by Sir Philip, have left with half a million more than they expected for doing substantially less of the administration than they expected.”

Duff & Phelps had also transferred £35 million to a company acting for Arcadia, in what they state was owed to them by BHS. 

This was subsequently returned when the co-administrator FRP Advisory intervened.

READ MORE: Fight breaks out between BHS creditors

“The return of the £35 million paid to Arcadia by Duff & Phelps vindicates the PPF’s decision to appoint administrators independent from Sir Philip,” Field said.

“We are inquiring further into the circumstances of this transaction, which was not authorised by the co-administrator.”

The pensions deficit continues to wait for a promised lump sum from its former owner Green. 

The regulator has demanded £350 million from Green, which he has so far failed to agree to. 

Green has already been handed numerous warning notices, pushing him to pay up.

The Pensions Regulator said: “We remain in discussion with Sir Philip’s advisers.

“Any settlement offer we accept has to be robust enough to stand the test of time and mean that members and the PPF are not left in a worse position further down the road.”

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