Arcadia Group “legally robbed by the Greens”, says peer

Arcadia Group
Arcadia Group, which includes Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, collapsed into administration last week – placing 13,000 jobs at risk.
// Lord Blencathra says Arcadia Group was “legally robbed by the Greens” to the tune of £1.2bn in dividends
// Meanwhile, Lord Goddard renewed calls for Green to be stripped of his knighthood

House of Lords peers have rounded on Sir Philip Green over his Arcadia Group retail empire fell into administration and the impact on employees’ pensions.

Tory former minister Lord Blencathra said Arcadia Group was “legally robbed by the Greens”.

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat Lord Goddard of Stockport renewed calls for Green to be stripped of his knighthood.


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Arcadia Group, which includes Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, collapsed into administration last week – placing 13,000 jobs at risk.

At Lords question time, Lord Blencathra said: “Let’s be blunt. Debenhams collapsed after three ruthless vulture funds loaded it with debt and then cleaned it out to the tune of £1.2 billion in dividends.

“Arcadia was legally robbed by the Greens to the tune of another £1.2 billion in dividends.”

He said that in the US, the regulator would have “gotten back every single cent and they would all be serving life without parole”.

Lord Blencathra, a former Home Office minister, asked when there was going to be some “proper regulation and legislation to tackle people whose behaviour is de facto criminal but at the moment is technically legally okay”.

Work and Pensions minister Baroness Stedman-Scott said the government did need to ensure legislation would deal with those who would “plunder pension schemes”.

She said this was why a Pension Scheme Bill was going through Parliament, which would extend the regulator’s sanctions regime, including the power to issue civil penalties and new criminal offences for “bosses who run pension schemes into the ground or plunder them to line their own pockets”.

Lord Goddard suggested the minister should contact the Prime Minister and “try to get Philip Green’s knighthood revoked as he is clearly less than an honourable man”.

Lady Stedman-Scott said it would not be right to comment on individual cases but added that there was a clear independent process in place for the forfeiture of an honour.

with PA Wires

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Never mind the Greens! It makes me sick that my wife and I with over 100 years retail service between us, are still waiting for the Government to cough up the money they owe us!
    We were encouraged by the Government to provide for our old age with private pensions. We did this. Equitable Life went bust. The Government agreed to full compensation because their Financial Regulator was found to be at fault. We are owed £61,000 compensation. My wife and I are now only on State Pensions. It’s a disgrace! Pay up Mr Sunak!

  2. Endowment and pension schemes all stole from us starting in the mid nineties. No one got the blame and we got stuck without a pension and endowment payout. All a big scandal no one ever looked into and made a lot of us poor

  3. About time these so called big bosses were held to account they are getting away with it far too often Philip Day is another one keeps buying back the same business under different names and running them into the ground

  4. And perhaps we might also start looking at the purveyors and practitioners of CVA’s that value destruct, leave suppliers and landlords as long term supporters of these business at the end of the chain with no input into the process. They pick at the carcasses and strip out huge preferential fees and the venture capitalists who have stripped out millions of fees by racking up the debt are allowed to buy back the business at a fraction of the price, again leaving suppliers and landlords high and dry.

  5. I’m afraid Lord Blencathra’s comment is ill considered, irrespective of how much we all dislike the Greens. The dividend was made 15 years ago, when the pension schemes were fully-funded and the businesses profitable, since which time there have been two global financial crises and numerous fashion businesses have gone bust. I’d hazard a guess that the pension scheme’s current underfunding lies principally with the low interest rates that have prevailed over the last dozen years, for which the politicians are rather more responsible than Philip Green.

  6. Also someone needs to look at greedy fat cats ceo’s turning schools into academy’s stripping them of there money failing there students robbing them of a chance at life especially special needs children then dumping them back on councils wrong on so many levels but back handers keep eyes and mouths shut just like in this case
    Money talks

  7. Worked with BHS for 4 years back in the early 00’s (separate to Arcadia at the time, merged in later) and it was SO obvious even then that there was to be zero money spent on the chain (nothing in the right places anyway, but in true Arcadia form, about 4 different logos…) it’s been a sinking ship largely due to the Greens, for a long time.

      • Aside from where “Big Mike” is concerned. As despicable, if not more so, than all the others, but seemingly he can do no wrong in the eyes of some…

      • Thanks for taking some time out of your day to jibe at me for sharing my thoughts on a related experience from around 15 years ago, much appreciated. Odd to jibe at me like this was my doing or something but anyway I digress, alas no… Big Phil (to his mates…) doesn’t hand out his mobile number to the lowly nobodies.

  8. It’s true! Too many in the media, CEOs, and business owners blame the internet, customers, economy etc when in fact they themselves to blame. the 1990s to 2000s was the peak of retailers being bought, the freehold property being sold off to make a quick buck and shops put on upwards only rents with over expansion to make a quicker initial buck then the owners sold the business on.

    Woolworths, Debenhams, BHS, House Of Fraser SO MANY MORE etc all the names we remember loaded with debt from rents and rates and no money for investment have collapsed. A big chunk in 2008/9, 2012/13 and 2020 looks bad but there is going to be a biggest chunk yet in 2021.

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