Frank Field pressures FRC to publish BHS audit findings

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BHS PwC

Frank Field MP is urging the Financial Reporting Council to publish its report on PwC’s audit of collapsed department store chain BHS.

It comes after BHS’ former owner, Sir Philip Green’s holding company Taveta Investments, recently lost a legal bid to restrict the publication of the full report.

Taveta’s lawyers had argued that it was not seeking a “blanket prohibition” but wanted the FRC to redact parts of its report which “contain criticisms of the claimant, its directors and employees”.

High Court judge Justice Nicklin said there were serious issues that needed to be taken into account in relation to the report, including whether the FRC had breached its “duty of fairness” by not providing Taveta enough time to respond to “implied criticisms” of Taveta staff.

However, Nicklin said these reservations were not sufficient to justify an injunction to block publication of a report by a public body.

The FRC may now have to edit its report after Taveta said it would “vigorously defend any claims or allegations” it may contain.

Despite this, Field, who heads up the influential Work and Pensions Committee, has written to the FRC urging them to publish the report sooner than later.

“Could I ask how the FRC intends to proceed on this matter,” he wrote.

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