Dominic Chappell, the former owner of BHS, faces a lengthy ban from serving as a company director following a Government-sanctioned probe into the retailer’s collapse.
Sky News has learnt that Mr Chappell and three other former BHS directors have been informed by the Insolvency Service that it is minded to pursue disqualification proceedings against him, while Sir Philip Green – who sold BHS to Mr Chappell for £1 in 2015 – has been told he will face no further action.
The Insolvency Service has powers to ban individuals from directorships for up to 15 years.
Individuals who are notified of potential sanctions have the ability to make representations about why such action is unjustified, before the Insolvency Service files formal court proceedings against them.
Sarah Albon, the Insolvency Service’s inspector-general, said last year that she wanted to see its BHS inquiry concluded by 2019.
The move to disqualify Mr Chappell and three other former directors and related companies is likely to see them facing bans towards the upper end of the two-to-15-year spectrum, according to insiders.
For Sir Philip, who paid up to £363m into BHS’s pension scheme to end the threat of action against him by The Pensions Regulator, the Insolvency Service’s decision ends the last regulatory probe involving him.
In a statement following an enquiry by Sky News, a spokesman for Sir Philip said:
“On 15 March, the Insolvency Service informed Sir Philip Green that it had concluded its investigation into BHS and confirmed that he will not be the subject of any proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.
“Identical confirmations have also been sent to a number of other individuals who were BHS directors in the period prior to its acquisition by Retail Acquisitions Limited.
“Sir Philip and his fellow directors have cooperated fully with the Insolvency Service since its investigation commenced in May 2016, and welcome this decision.”
The latest news is another blow to Mr Chappell, who has been slapped with a £10m bill by pensions watchdogs as they try to recover money owed to the bankrupt retailer’s retirement scheme.
He also faces a new trial on charges of failing to produce information requested by the pensions watchdog.
Other inquiries into the department store chain’s demise, led by the Financial Reporting Council, remain ongoing.
From – SkyNews