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On 20 June 2019, the Court of Appeal handed down its decision in Granada UK Rental & Retail Ltd v The Pensions Regulator, finding that the Upper Tribunal was entitled to reach the conclusion that it was reasonable to impose financial support directions (FSDs) on five companies in the ITV group (the Targets) requiring them to put in place financial support for the Box Clever Group Pension Scheme. The Court of Appeal also agreed that the Pensions Regulator could consider matters and events that occurred before the Pensions Act 2004 (PeA 2004) came into force in reaching its conclusion.
Granada UK Rental & Retail Ltd and others v The Pensions Regulator and another  EWCA Civ 1032
The Court of Appeal’s decision is a victory for the Pensions Regulator and provides further guidance on how it should carry out the reasonableness test under the legislation for imposing an FSD, in particular that:
Ultimately, it is for the Pensions Regulator/Upper Tribunal to decide how much weight to give to the various factors and whether, giving each factor appropriate weight, the imposition of an FSD is reasonable.
However, the Regulator’s victory has come at the cost of expensive and long-running litigation lasting eight years so far (and potentially longer if ITV is permitted to appeal to the Supreme Court). It perhaps comes as no surprise then that there are already plans to introduce measures to strengthen the statutory FSD regime under PeA 2004, s 43,
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