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Insolvency Practitioners

Volume 222: debated on Thursday 2 April 1992

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many inspections were carried out by the insolvency service in each of the last three years into the quality of work of insolvency practitioners; in how many cases practitioners were referred to their relevant supervisory bodies; and what other action was taken.

The insolvency service visits insolvency practitioners to ensure their compliance with the statutory requirements and has carried out 140 such visits to insolvency practitioners since April 1992. Reports are forwarded to the relevant licensing body for its consideration. A smaller number of such visits were also made before April 1992 but statistics are not readily available.

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the bodies responsible for the supervision and regulation of insolvency practitioners; what duties are laid on such bodies under the Insolvency Act 1986; and how many practitioners are regulated by each body.

The following professional bodies have satisfied the Secretary of State for the purposes of regulating the professional practices. They enforce rules to ensure that those individuals they authorise are fit and proper to act as insolvency practitioners and meet acceptable levels of education and practical experience.The number of individuals authorised by each body is shown in brackets.

  • The Chartered Association of Certified Accountants: (114).
  • The Insolvency Practitioners Association: (267).
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales: (953).
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland: (86).
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland: (200).
  • The Law Society: (183).
  • THe Law Society of Scotland: (40).

In addition, the Secretary of State directly authorises 147 insolvency practitioners.

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of whether the regulation of insolvency practitioners is meeting the requirements of the Insolvency Act 1986; and what action he proposes to improve those standards.

Since the introduction of licensing, action has been taken by the appropriate authorising body to withdraw authorisation, where it is satisfied that an insolvency practitioner is no longer a fit and proper person to act as such. Misconduct not amounting to evidence that the practitioner is no longer fit and proper has resulted in lesser disciplinary action.As part of its continuing review of the effectiveness of the insolvency legislation, the insolvency service introduced routine visits to insolvency practitioners to monitor their compliance with statutory requirements. The licensing bodies are committed to carrying out such visits on their own members.