An influential cross-party group of MPs is to conduct an in-depth investigation into standards in the UK insolvency profession, in response to claims that some practitioners are prioritising lenders’ interests over those of business or other creditors
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fair Business Banking has started a six month project, with support from City law firm Humphries Kerstetter.
Kevin Hollinrake, co-chair of the APPG, said: ‘In recent years there have been a number of high-profile failures in the insolvency industry. The APPG has also received its fair share of complaints about the system. This is why we thought now would be a good time to conduct our review, identify any failures and suggest practical ways they might be addressed.’
The group said a key focus of the investigation is likely to be on the relationship between insolvency practitioners and the lending institutions that have the power to appoint them.
The APPG reported it has received a number of complaints from business owners that the current system does not do enough to protect their companies when they have fallen into insolvency, while avenues for redress in this area are limited as there is no independent regulator or ombudsman overseeing the industry.
James Russell, partner at Humphries Kerstetter, said: ‘What we are interested in exploring is whether such behaviour is indicative of a wider, systemic problem. If these problems are endemic, we look forward to working with the APPG to find ways to address them for the benefit of the insolvency industry and the wider economy.’
The group has already issues calls for evidence to accountancy firms, the regulatory bodies and the Insolvency Service, and is now asking for anyone else with information about conduct and standards in the corporate insolvency world to submit information for consideration in any final report.
Those interested should email email@example.com setting out a brief summary of the matter.