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Pressure mounts on FRC over unpublished report on Sir Philip Green and BHS

An influential group of MPs, led by the so-called “scourge of BHS”, has demanded to know when accounting regulators will publish a closely-guarded report into the doomed retailer’s 2014 audit.
Frank Field, the Labour MP who has led the parliamentary inquiry into the collapsed high street stalwart, has written to the chief executive of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).
The chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee asked when the FRC report into PwC’s audit of BHS and its holding company Taveta will be made public.
In June, the FRC issued PwC with a record ?6.5m fine – which was reduced from ?10m on early settlement grounds – for its accounting sign-off. The fine was one of a number of sanctions imposed on the Big Four firm after the regulator concluded its investigation.
It also effectively handed Steve Denison, the PwC partner in charge of the BHS audit and the now former chairman of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, a 15 year ban from the profession.
Pressure mounts on FRC over unpublished report on Sir Philip Green and BHS

BHS collapsed into administration a year after being sold by Sir Philip Green for ?1

Credit:
Peter Nicholls/REUTERS
Just five days before Sir Philip Green sold BHS for ?1, PwC signed it off as a “going concern” – accounting jargon that means the company in question will remain in business for the “foreseeable future”.
BHS then collapsed into administration a year after the sale, resulting in the loss of 11,000 jobs, causing public outcry over its failure and a raft of regulatory investigations.
Last month FRC chief executive Stephen Haddrill said the regulator planned to publish its report “as soon as possible”.
Mr Field wrote in a letter published today: “More than three weeks later, there is still no firm date for publication.”
Mr Green took the FRC to court, attempting to get an injunction to prevent the publication of the findings on the basis that they were “highly prejudicial” of Taveta’s directors.
The High Court dismissed the injunction in July but FRC delayed publication of its report. The regulator said it was taking legal advice on account of the fact Mr Green could launch a further legal challenge to suppress the investigation findings.
BHS - The history of British Home Stores
The Insolvency Service, which had previously concluded there was insufficient evidence of misconduct by Taveta’s directors to justify disqualification proceedings, wrote to the FRC last month requesting any information not previously made available to them.
Insolvency Service chief executive Sarah Albon said it would consider re-opening an investigation into the directors in light of such evidence.
A spokesman for the FRC this evening re-iterated that it was in "the public interest" for the BHS report to be published. It was, however, continuing to "digest the detail of the judgment" handed down by the High Court before releasing its findings.
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