Publish BHS report, says MP

The Times - 08 Aug 2018

The auditing watchdog has come under increased pressure from Westminster to publish the details of its investigation into why PWC signed off BHS as a going concern only six days before the retailer was sold for just £1.

Frank Field, the veteran MP who chairs the Commons’ work and pensions committee, has written to Stephen Haddrill, chief executive of the Financial Reporting Council, demanding to know why the regulator has not published its report.

He also suggested that the Commons committee could publish the report itself after its next meeting in September as it already had a copy, and asked if Mr Haddrill would object to such a move.

The regulator has delayed publishing the report while it receives legal advice after it emerged that Sir Philip Green, the former owner of BHS, could seek to bring a legal challenge against it.

Sir Philip tried to get an injunction to stop the report being released on the grounds that it was “highly prejudicial” to the directors of Taveta, his family’s company. A judge dismissed his challenge on June 29.

“More than a month has now passed . . . but its contents have still not seen the light of day,” Mr Field wrote. The regulator previously said it would publish the report “as soon as possible”, but has declined to give a firm date.