LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: A general view of British Home Stores (BHS) flagship store on Oxford Street on August 13, 2016 in London, England. The BHS flagship store on Oxford Street will close today after the retailer went in to administration in April. All 163 of the company's department stores are set to close over the coming weeks affecting up to 11,000 jobs. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
BHS collapsed into administration in 2016 with a £531m funding hole in its two pension schemes © Jack Taylor/Getty Images

A former BHS director pursued over the collapse of the department store group has agreed to a five-year ban on holding similar roles at other organisations.

The action against Lennart Henningson completes an investigation by the Insolvency Service into individuals involved in BHS’s failure, the service said in an update on its website.

The “statement of unfit conduct” said Mr Henningson did not dispute that while serving as a BHS director he transferred £1.5m from the floundering company to a Swedish subsidiary he controlled. At the time, BHS was already in an insolvency procedure and its directors and other stakeholders had discussed putting it into administration the previous day.

However, the same statement said Mr Henningson had been unaware that a bank mandate had been changed and had not been present at the meeting when administration was discussed.

Most of the £1.5m was subsequently returned, but almost £50,000 was retained to cover “exchange rate costs, bank charges and BHS Sweden formation costs and professional fees”.

The ban does not apply outside the UK. Mr Henningson is a director of Ravel, a Swedish property services company but is due to retire in August when he turns 65. He could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, while the Insolvency Service declined to comment further on the agreement.

Mr Henningson, who describes himself on LinkedIn as a “strong professional skilled in corporate finance, project finance, leveraged finance, venture capital and investment banking”, was one of four people pursued over the collapse of BHS in April 2016, which triggered the loss of 11,000 jobs.

The others were Colin Sutton, who in 2018 was banned from serving as a director for five years, and Dominic Chappell and his octogenarian father, Joe, who were banned from holding directorships for 10 and five years, respectively.

All were connected to Retail Acquisitions, the vehicle that bought BHS from retail tycoon Philip Green for £1 the year before its collapse.

Dominic Chappell, a former racing driver, had been declared bankrupt three times before he bid for BHS. Earlier this month, the Pensions Regulator ordered him to pay £9.5m into the defunct group’s pension scheme.

The Pension Protection Fund said at the time that it intended to pursue Mr Chappell for the money even though BHS’s pension fund has since been restored to health and sold to an insurance company, thus securing members’ retirement incomes.

Mr Chappell still faces legal action over charges of tax evasion and money laundering relating to his purchase of two yachts. That case was adjourned last June but is set to return to the courts this year.

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