The former owner of BHS and current Topshop and Arcadia owner, Sir Philip Green, has requested a judicial review of the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) report into PwC’s handling of the retailer’s audit shortly after collapsed.
As the hearing into the report prepares to be taken to the High Court today (Thursday 21 June) the parent company of BHS, Taveta Investments, is asking the FRC to amend it. Green is reported to have asked for certain aspects to be changed and is thought to be concerned that it may expose business dealings in relation to BHS.
The regulator has not detailed its reasons for sanctioning PwC and its audit partner, Steve Denison, but Labour MP Frank Field MP has called for the FRC to show every draft and amendment of the report.
In June 2016, the FRC launched an investigation into PwC’s handling of BHS’s audit, two months after the retailer’s collapse. PwC signed BHS off as a “going concern” just before the retailer was sold for £1 to Dominic Chappell’s Retail Acquisitions.
PwC was fined £10m while Denison was fined £500,000 and barred from performing any audit work for 15 years – the largest such penalties ever to be meted out by the regulator, but the fines were reduced by 35% to £6.5m and £325,000 respectively for early settlement.
Retail Sector has reached out to PwC but had no response at the time of publication. The FRC refused to comment.