24 September 2009 Edition

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Pensions Regulator confirms ongoing investigation into Visteon

SINN FÉIN President Gerry Adams, who last week called for a full and thorough investigation into the pensions scandal at Visteon and into the management and handling of company assets, has received confirmation from the Pensions Regulator that that office is continuing to investigate Visteon.
As we reported last week, new documents have been given to Sinn Féin which confirm the existence of what we believe are illegal practices by Visteon and of efforts by them to destroy company records.
The West Belfast MP last week provided the Pensions Regulator and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown with new documents which he believes confirm the existence of illegal practices by Visteon, as well as efforts by the company to conceal plans to displace jobs and investment from their Belfast plant.
In its reply to Sinn Féin, the Risk and Funding Team of the Pensions Regulator confirmed that it “is continuing to investigate the circumstances leading up to the administration of Visteon UK Limited on 31/3/09”, adding:
“A large quantity of information has been submitted to or requested by us since that date and, as you may appreciate, given the volume and nature of the information we have received in relation to this matter, the process of reviewing the information may take some time.”

SHAMEFUL
The west Belfast MP welcomed the confirmation from the Pensions Regulator. Gerry Adams said:
“The behaviour of the Visteon UK board and of the Ford Motor company, and their treatment of the workers in Belfast and in Britain, has been shameful.
“I also believe that aspects of that behaviour amounts to, at best, sharp practice; at worst, corruption.
“It is important that the relevant government and statutory agencies, including the Pensions Regulator, carry out the necessary rigorous assessments and investigations into the conduct of these companies.
“It is in the interest of the workers, their families and the communities from which they come, that a full and rigorous investigation by the proper authorities is carried out into this scandal.”


ASSEMBLY CALL FOR PROBE
In May this year, after a debate which Sinn Féin tabled in the Assembly, all parties united on the need for the Visteon scandal to be fully investigated.
Sinn Féin furnished the British Government with all the documentation we had received about the activities and plans of Visteon UK, Visteon Corporation and Ford prior to the decision to put Visteon UK into administration.
The Pensions Regulator has assigned four staff to review all of the documentation surrounding the Visteon scandal.

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