BusinessBusiness RecoveryEnterprise Bill faces opposition

Enterprise Bill faces opposition

The long-awaited publication of the Enterprise Bill, intended to reform procedures for failing companies, has been met by scathing criticism.

The government has heralded the bill as the beginning of its implementation of the rescue culture, hoping to make legislation more like the US, particularly in the field of insolvency.

But one of the bill’s central tenets – abolition of receivership in favour of administration – has been hailed as doing nothing to ease the pressure exerted by banks calling time on companies.

Roger Oldfield, president of R3, the professional body for insolvency practitioners, said: ‘The bill’s provisions will make the banks secure in the knowledge that abolition of receivership in favour of administration will lead to no real diminution of their rights as secured creditors.’

But insolvency practitioners are not entirely satisfied the bill will encourage more entrepreneurship. Many disagree with its proposals, particularly in legislation on discharged bankrupts, the removal of administrative receivership and the treatment of disqualified directors.

Experts believe the lack of clarity in some areas, including administration, means additional proposals will have to be passed after the bill is published.

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