Government announces further plans to streamline insolvency

THE GOVERNMENT has announced plans to further streamline the insolvency profession.

Business Minister Jo Swinson (pictured) has revealed that the Insolvency Service, the regulator of the profession and a licensor, will no longer license individual practitioners.

This comes weeks after complaints about practitioners were streamlined to a single gateway rather than complaints having to be filed with one of the eight recognised professional bodies (RPBs).

Currently the Insolvency Service licenses about 60 practitioners, however, under the new plans those licences will be transferred to one of the RPBs which includes the ICAEW, ACCA, ICAS and IPA.

The Insolvency Service has not yet announced which institute will take over the 60 practitioners although a deal is to published in the coming weeks.

Swinson said: “Transferring the government’s power to regulate IPs to independent regulators will bring greater clarity and consistency to the regulatory regime. It will also help cut costs in the industry through lower fees.

“The government can now concentrate on its role as oversight regulator of the insolvency industry.

Swinson also revealed that students entering into the profession can now specialise in one area of insolvency, personal or corporate, rather than having to study and sit both exams over two to three years.

Students will now have the option of studying for one to two years in either corporate or personal insolvency or can continue to under the old regime of leaning both.

“Removing the requirement for IPs to be qualified in both personal and corporate insolvency will open up the industry to a greater number of people, which will provide a welcome boost for competition in the sector,” said Swinson.

The reforms are part of the government’s red tap challenge which removes unnecessary functions from regulation.

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