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Cheques and balances

Neil Hodge | March 14, 2017

At the end of February, disgraced corporate tycoon Sir Philip Green agreed to pay £363m to plug some of the BHS pension shortfall caused by his poor stewardship of the company and its subsequent fire-sale to thrice-bankrupt retail novice Dominic Chappell.

The pension deficit of the department store chain was assessed to be £571m after its collapse last April, so Sir Philip—or just plain old “Phil” if some Members of Parliament get their way—got a £208m discount. Try passing that good news on to the 11,000 people who lost their jobs and who have seen their company pension benefits cut by 12 percent.

It is no laughing matter. Green will not face any criminal charges for poor corporate governance or for effectively asset-stripping the company over 15 years and then flogging it to a dunce for £1. He is highly unlikely to face disqualification from being a director or face any disciplinary proceedings. Nor will his wife, who was nominally the owner from the family base in...

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