Insolvency complaints body launched

THE INSOLVENCY SERVICE has launched a single gateway for stakeholders to file complaints against an insolvency practitioner.

The gateway will remove the need for stakeholders, such as creditors involved in an insolvency process, having to lodge a complaint with one of the eight regulators, something which has previously been described as overly complicated.

From today nearly all complaints about an insolvency practitioner will be made via a common complaints gateway hosted by the Insolvency Service – based in Leeds.

Part of the government drive to cut red tape – for every new change something must be removed – some parts of the insolvency process have been simplified with the savings estimated for creditors at some £30m a year.

Among the changes, insolvency practitioners will now no longer be required to send individual letters to creditors but can place notices on websites.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said: “This new Complaints Gateway will help consumers dealing with the insolvency industry to get speedier resolution of problems and easier access to the right information. Such problems might, for example, be poor communication by the practitioner or worries about their independence.

“I am pleased that the insolvency profession shares our desire to improve the public’s perception and confidence in the insolvency regime.

“We are also cutting out needless processes. We have listened to the ideas put forward by business and practitioners to cut out unnecessary red tape. These changes will make sure the cost of administering insolvencies will be reduced with savings being passed on to creditors, without removing necessary protections.”

The eight insolvency regulators, including the ICAEW, ICAS and ACCA, are currently working on common sanctions for practitioners – which is likely to be introduced later this year.

In a joint statement the regulators said: “The Complaints Gateway is an example of what can be achieved by the regulators and government working together. This is part of a concerted effort by the profession to enhance public confidence in insolvency regulation, and it will provide a unique opportunity to learn from the data collected by the gateway and inform our approach to regulation accordingly.”

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