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BHS: The Truth will Out


Stuart Price, is Partner and Actuary at Quantum Advisory, which has offices in Amersham, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, and London. Quantum provides pension and employee benefits services to employers, scheme trustees and members.

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A report on the pre-sale audit of BHS is set to be published after the High Court refused to gag the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) despite an application from Sir Philip Green. Stuart Price, Partner and Actuary at pensions experts Quantum Advisory, said:

“The report will provide commentary on the accounts that were presented to Dominic Chappell, who bought the company for £1 just after the report was signed off by PwC. The company collapsed just over a year later, with a buyout deficit estimated at nearly £600 million. Interestingly, PwC was adviser to BHS on its pension schemes for fourteen years until 2013. The High Court ruling comes shortly after the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) enforced its highest ever penalty, £10 million, against the collapsed company’s auditor, PwC, while its senior partner, Steve Denison, who was responsible for the report, was given a 15-year ban from auditing work and personally fined £500,000. A FRC spokesperson said it will ‘consider the detailed judgment’ when the report becomes available. The Work and Pensions Committee said it will write to the Insolvency Service so that it reopens its investigation of former BHS directors. The report is the latest in a line of sanctions or financial demands on the former BHS owners and it will be interesting to see the final outcome of these investigations to ensure those responsible are brought to justice and it doesn’t happen again.”