Goldman Sachs reviews Sir Philip Green relationship amid BHS controversy


Goldman Sachs is reviewing its decade-long relationship with Sir Philip Green in the wake of retailer BHS's collapse.

Michael Sherwood, the investment bank's Europe boss, told MPs that the firm's involvement in the BHS saga has not enhanced its reputation and has moved to reconsider its involvement with the billionaire.

"We've been reviewing Goldman Sachs' relationship with Sir Philip Green at this point," he said.

Sir Philip's reputation has taken a battering since BHS collapsed in April, leaving behind a £571 million pension deficit and putting 11,000 jobs at risk.

The Topshop tycoon, who owned the retailer for 15 years until 2015, has come under fire for taking £400 million in dividends from the company and then selling it to former bankrupt Dominic Chappell.

Goldman Sachs provided unpaid "informal" advice to Sir Philip's Arcadia group during the sale process, and some of its top bankers faced MPs from the Business committee on Wednesday.

In Sir Philip's own appearance in front of MPs, he insisted he would not have done business with Mr Chappell if he had failed the US bank's "sniff test".

However, Mr Sherwood was quick to absolve Goldman of any blame for the retailer's collapse.

"I absolutely do not accept blame. He never passed our sniff test. Anthony (Gutman) and I never told Sir Philip that he had passed out sniff test. All we highlighted was observations about the risks around Mr Chappell and the transaction. Our role was extremely limited."

Mr Sherwood forged close links with Sir Philip when helping him with a failed bid for Marks & Spencer a decade ago, while Mr Gutman was tasked with dealing with BHS.