Newsletter insolvency service – summer 2022
Economics Minister speaks insolvency Live!
Our flagship stakeholder event, Insolvency Live!, took place on Tuesday 5th July and this year we were delighted to welcome Business Secretary Lord Callanan.
This was a hybrid event, the first since before the pandemic, with the option to meet in person. Delegates were given the choice of visiting Broadway House in Westminster or joining us online and both were able to participate in Q&A. After the last few difficult years, it was wonderful to see so many people in the room and also online.
Business Secretary Lord Callanan, who is responsible for insolvencies on behalf of the government, spoke at the event. During his speech, the minister commended the insolvency professions for their valuable contribution to the economy and the country, while also formally launching a call for evidence on personal insolvency testing.
Other presentations that day included insolvency experts dr John Tribe who has dealt with the cost of living and its impact on the framework of personal bankruptcy; our Customer Service and Insight team shared how the agency uses Insights to improve our client experience; and the team behind the Director Education Project spoke about their efforts to develop training and guidance materials for directors to help them better understand their responsibilities and prevent avoidable bankruptcies.
The day ended with a Q&A panel with senior executives. If you would like a copy of the slides or would like to provide feedback on the event, please email [email protected]
Conversion of the insolvency service to regional hubs as part of increasing efficiency
Over the next five years, insolvency service will move to regional centers, reducing the number of our offices while maintaining high standards of customer service and offering better value for money.
The Insolvency Service currently operates from 22 different office locations in England, Wales and Scotland.
To improve value for taxpayers while maintaining excellent customer service, the Bankruptcy Service announced in May that it would reduce its offices to 11 regional centers.
Existing offices in Cardiff and Edinburgh will be retained. The move to regional centers will result in savings of more than £20m over the next 10 years.
Bankruptcy Policy Development: Review of Personal Bankruptcy and UNCITRAL Model Laws
In July, the Insolvency Service launched two major policy initiatives that will help inform government considerations to help those in financial distress, as well as plans to implement two international model laws into UK law.
At Insolvency Live! The Secretary of Commerce formally launched a call for evidence to seek stakeholders’ views on the personal bankruptcy framework. The last fundamental review of personal bankruptcy was conducted 40 years ago and the government is looking for evidence of the overall purpose of the framework, how it currently supports and is funded for people in financial difficulty and whether it serves the needs of debtors and creditors in the 21st century th century.
We are very interested in hearing from our stakeholders what they think about the personal bankruptcy framework and the deadline for submitting your response Smart poll or email [email protected] is 24 October 2022.
The Insolvency Service is a member of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, a working group that seeks to further develop model laws in complex areas such as corporate and insolvency law that promote best practice and consistency.
The UK has already transposed a model law on cross-border insolvency into UK law. The UN working group has developed two other internationally recognized model laws that are intended to promote the recognition of court judgments and to efficiently manage the insolvency of corporate insolvencies. If the UK implements these new model laws, it will be one of the first countries to do so, signaling the UK’s continued commitment to mutual cooperation and international best practice.
The consultation closes on 29 September 2022 and we recommend all replies be emailed to [email protected] for the attention of Andrew Shore.
Forward Thinking Conference – Call for Papers
After the success of Opening conference on the topic “Forward Thinking”. the Insolvency Service is planning the next conference on Friday, November 18, 2022.
The theme of this year’s event is Forward Thinking: Insolvency Response in Uncertain Times, and we invite colleagues, partners and anyone else with an interest in insolvency to submit their abstracts for an academic or technical paper for presentation at the conference.
The aim of the conference is to provide a platform for academic insolvency research and technical discussions, to enable stronger connection between academia, the insolvency sector and policy makers, and to encourage feedback from interested parties.
The deadline for abstracts – maximum 500 words – is Wednesday 31 August. If you have any questions or would like to host the event, please contact [email protected]
Bankruptcy Service publishes research reports
The Insolvency Service has commissioned three separate research papers linked to the implementation of the 5-year strategy under the theme of strengthening our system regulation and improving the insolvency framework.
All three reports were produced by external bodies and are available on GOV.UK:
Angela Crossley, Director of Strategy, Policy and Analysis said:
While the reports did not announce changes in government policy or legislation, they were crucial for the agency to understand what was working and where there was room for improvement in some of our key areas.
Do you want to become a Diversity and Inclusion Champion?
In June, the Insolvency Service and the R3-led Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group announced a campaign to build a network of advocates for diversity and inclusion in the insolvency profession.
This will be a volunteer role, where Diversity and Inclusion Champions will act as role models and work with the steering group to share best practices, raise awareness, and inspire and drive change that will transform employers and their talented teams.
The Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee is still looking forward to further applications. To find out more about what the role entails, please email [email protected]
Alternate Official Recipient Recognized for Excellence in Learning and Development
Kevan Glaysher, Assistant Bankruptcy Trustee in our Manchester office, won a Distinguished Achievement Award at the 2022 Operational Delivery Profession Awards after being nominated by peers for his excellence in learning and development and improving the skills of others.
After 25 years in the banking industry, Kevan joined the Bankruptcy Service in 2009 as a trainee. Throughout his career, Kevan has become a mentor to new prospective examiners and remains heavily involved in mentoring his colleagues in the Manchester Official Receiver office whilst carrying out his duties as Deputy Official Receiver.
Colleagues nominated Kevan because they wanted to celebrate his achievements in training and developing his colleagues.
Tackling financial misconduct: successful enforcement outcomes
In recent months, the Bankruptcy Service has continued to crack down on wrongdoing involving the abuse of government repayment loans. In late June, the agency saw its first successful prosecution of a bounce bank loan scammer after pizza joint boss Abdulrazag Zagroba was jailed for two years after fraudulently claiming a £20,000 bounce back loan.
More recently, the Bankruptcy Service successfully secured the first four disqualifications, using new powers to crack down on directors who wind up companies and walk away without paying their debts. All four directors were disqualified after securing bounce-back loans before winding up their companies to avoid paying their debts.
Other notable cases are:
The latest from the bankruptcy blog
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Professional Assistance Counsel Matt Pope hosted a learning and development event at our Birmingham office and has delivered a report which lead insolvency expert Judge Abbas Mithani QC commented on Disqualifications from judge’s point of view.