UK - MPs have accused directors at MG Rover of "financial sleight of hand" and "manipulative bookkeeping" after setting aside £13m for their own pensions.
Four directors of the Phoenix Consortium – which owns MG Rover – were heavily criticised after the firm transferred the car manufacturer’s assets into a new group structure, Phoenix Venture Holdings. The move netted them millions of pounds each, including a combined pension pot worth £13m.
Two of the directors – John Towers and Peter Beale – gave evidence in a 90-minute session with MPs on the House of Commons trade and industry committee, which is investigating the British car industry.
Committee chairman Martin O’Neill MP said: “You are judges and jury of your own future. The scale of your individual achievements is being undermined by what appears to be financial sleight of hand. Nothing illegal, but manipulative book-keeping practices, so you are doing well and everyone else is just muddling along.”
Towers told MPs Phoenix would appoint an independent non-executive director by year-end after criticism over corporate governance (PP, March 29).
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