Commenting on the impact that large scale business failures, like that of BHS, have on the broader business community and the economy, Dr Adam Marshall, Acting Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“When big companies go bust, it doesn’t seem fair to make small- and medium-sized firms and taxpayers cover the pension deficits that are left behind. This is particularly true when there are legitimate questions about corporate decision-making and payouts to shareholders.

“Small- and medium-sized firms make a substantial contribution to the Pensions Protection Fund through an annual levy. It would be unfair for their payments to have to rise to cover the deficits in gigantic schemes like that of BHS, and would be a potential brake on those levy payers’ future investment and growth.

“Levy-paying firms of all sizes would be incensed if they find that they have to carry the can for huge corporate pensions deficits, just months or years after corporate shareholders received huge financial windfalls.”