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Sir Philip Green would face a £1 billion bill for the BHS pension scandal

Topshop , Philip Green / Getty

The Pensions watchdog should get ‘nuclear deterrent’ powers that would let it fine billionaire Topshop owner Sir Philip Green £1 billion, MPs say, according to British media.

A cross-party Commons committee said the Pensions Regulator should be able to impose huge penalties on businessmen accused of bending their pensions responsibilities when they go bust.

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Currently the Pensions Regulator has powers to demand businessmen plug black holes in pension schemes, but cannot impose further punishments.

Under the new plan, entrepreneurs should be threatened with a charge THREE TIMES the maximum the regulator wants to plug the shortfall in a company pension scheme.

As BHS sinks, Tina Green tours her new £100 million yacht

In the case of British Home Stores (BHS), this would have left Sir Philip facing a £1 billion fine given the regulators demand for £350 million.

The Committee also called for the Government to make it mandatory for corporate takeovers to be approved by the Pensions Regulator.

Labour’s Frank Field, the Work and Pensions Committee chair, said: “The measures we set out in this report are intended to reduce the chance of another scheme going down the BHS route. It is difficult to imagine the Pensions Regulator would still be having to negotiate with Sir Philip Green if he had been facing a bill of £1 billion – rather than £350 million. He would have sorted the pension scheme long ago.”

Daily mail reports that a previous report published by MPs few months ago, accused Sir Green and his wife Tina of ‘systematically plundering’ BHS by extracting hundreds of millions in dividends. The pension scheme was neglected for years, letting a £571 million deficit build up by the time BHS collapsed in April.



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