// Dominic Chappell faces 10-year ban on being a company director
// 3 other former BHS directors have also been banned for “abusing responsibilities”
Dominic Chappell, the former owner of collapsed department store chain BHS, has been banned from holding any company directorships for 10 years.
Sir Philip Green had sold BHS to Chappell for £1 in March 2015, but the chain collapsed in April 2016, resulting in the loss of 11,000 jobs.
The collapse of BHS was the biggest high street failure since the financial crisis, and left a £571 million pensions black hole.
- Dominic Chappell denies £500,000 tax fraud
- Sir Philip Green races to pay off £310m Topshop loan before Christmas
The Insolvency Service, which manages corporate collapses, had been seeking to disqualify Chappell for “abusing his responsibilities”, as well as three other former BHS directors since March 2018.
Chappell’s father, Joseph, and another director, Colin Sutton, have also been banned for five years each. Another former director is still facing proceedings.
“Both Dominic and his father abused their responsibilities as directors,” Insolvency Service assistant director Claire Entwistle said.
“Not only did they carry out reckless financial transactions but they failed to maintain adequate company records – a basic requirement for any responsible director,” she said.
“The courts have recognised the severity of their actions and the bans handed down will seriously curtail their opportunities to manage companies.”
The Insolvency Service has faced criticism for its handling of the scandal.
Green, who owned BHS for 15 years, agreed to hand over £363 million to the BHS pension scheme but didn’t receive a ban and also kept his knighthood.
MP Frank Field, who chaired the work and pensions committee that investigated Green and Chappell’s role in the BHS collapse, said: “Here’s yet another example of the monkey being shot while the organ grinder goes free.”
Meanwhile, the Insolvency Service published a statement to detail the wrongdoing by Chappell, including diverting BHS funds to other firms he owned.
The high court heard Chappell had transferred £1.5 million of funds from BHS to a Sweden-based company a day after the struggling retailer’s board had discussed placing it in administration.
He also diverted over £1 million in money made from sales of BHS’ stores in Sunderland and London’s Oxford Street to Retail Acquisitions, the company which acquired BHS.
Ultimately, the Insolvency Service questioned payments worth £6 million from BHS to companies related to Chappell and his father.
Chappell appeared in court in June to face separate charges of a £500,000 tax fraud and allegations that he bought two yachts to launder money.