OTHER companies could be at risk from asset-stripping like that carried out by billionaire former BHS owner Sir Philip Green, a member of Jeremy Corbyn’s front-bench team said yesterday.
A joint report by two committees of MPs found that Mr Green extracted large sums of money from BHS, leaving it on “life support.”
Shadow business secretary Jon Trickett condemned the actions of the former BHS owner but went further, saying that the case illustrates how weak structures of corporate goverance allows bosses to exploit their companies at the expense of workers.
He said: “A range of well-known accountancy, banking and other companies who had a duty to provide professional independent advice failed to prevent the actions described in the report. This left 11,000 loyal hard-working people without a job and a massive pension deficit.”
Mr Trickett also said the former BHS owner should lose his knighthood and cover the pensions deficit out of his own pocket.
A petition calling for Mr Green to be stripped of the honour has already received more than 50,000 signatures.
Mr Trickett continued: “It was sad to see the demise of a long-loved staple on our high street. Knowing that it was used to line the pockets of a few at the expense of the workers, customers and the public makes it even sadder.”
The shadow business secretary has called for the government to kick-start an immediate review of how companies such as BHS are governed and how their professional advisers operate.
He also stressed that the review should be carried out with “the intention of implementing rapid and far-reaching reforms,” warning that failure to do so would “leave other companies at similar risk in the future.”