Insolvency – Liquidators to face scrutiny

Insolvency specialists will be forced to open up their work to greater scrutiny over the coming year, according to Murdoch McKillop, the incoming president of the Society of Practitioners of Insolvency, writes Phillip Inman.

Liquidators and receivers will need to be more open in their relations with creditors and how fees are calculated, said McKillop, following a series of high-profile scandals that have diminished the public standing of the profession.

He said a series of reports due out in the next few months will set new standards of disclosure in an attempt to reverse the decline. ?We recognise the public perception is that self-regulation is not good enough. Everyone must try harder to show the profession is properly regulated,? said McKillop.

He argued against proposals for statutory regulation put forward by Labour backbench MPs Jim Cousins and Austin Mitchell. ?Under the current system the recognised professional bodies can and do take complaints seriously,? he said.

But McKillop, an Arthur Andersen partner, conceded practitioners breaking the rules should be more heavily punished. He said the SPI had asked the Department of Trade & Industry to support the appointment of corporate entities to liquidations and receiverships.

The move would allow regulators to fine accountancy and law firms, and not just the individuals who are currently appointed to carry out insolvency work.

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