Paul Smith, CEO

Dear Members,

The IPA AGM advised to members scheduled for May 30th was concluded with all resolutions passed.

The conclusion of the AGM means we are delighted to formally welcome Paul Davis, Partner at Opus Restructuring and Insolvency, as IPA President; Yin Lee, Director, Restructuring and Recovery Services at Evelyn Partners, as our Vice-President; and Adrian Hyde, Partner at Begbies Traynor Group, as Deputy Vice-President. I would like to congratulate each of them on their new roles, and I look forward to working with them over the coming year.

We are also welcoming two newly elected Board members: Antoinette Thorpe of Business Helpline Group, and Russell Payne, Director at ReSolve. It is also a time when some Board members step down, namely Maurice Moses, Carrie James, and Kevin Hellard – each of them a Past President of the IPA. My thanks to each of them for their contribution and commitment to the IPA over many years.

Moving on to the regulatory agenda, in the AML space, please be aware that updated guidance on submitting better quality Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) has been released by the UK Financial Intelligence Unit. This guidance supersedes the February 2023 version and can be accessed here.

Staying with AML, we have recently sent an alert from the Accountancy AML Supervisors’ Group (AASG) to all licence holders. If you are not your firm’s Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO), you must ensure that these alerts are promptly brought to your MLRO’s attention. The information contained within these alerts may necessitate adjustments to your Regulation 18 firm risk assessment and AML policies and procedures. Please be aware these alerts contain sensitive information and must not be shared with third parties unless otherwise advised.

With the rise of AML and fraud across the sector, this year we will be running our first event dedicated to this very important area. The AML and Fraud Forum takes place in Birmingham on 21st September and will offer a platform for in-depth discussions, sharing of insights and practical guidance from experts in the field. It promises to be an invaluable opportunity to deepen your knowledge and stay up to date with the latest developments in this fast-moving area. Book your place at this event here.

After witnessing a cohort of excellent nominees and winners at last year’s IPA Awards, I look forward to the opening of nominations for the IPA Awards this month. I encourage all members to ensure that the achievements of your colleagues and peers is recognised and we shine a spotlight on the exceptional talent within the profession. Further details will follow.

As highlighted by Paul Davis in his article, attendance at the next IPA Learning, on Covid loan misuse, is highly recommended, and as we progress through our current Roadshow series, I look forward to saying hello to many of you over the coming months.

Best wishes,

Paul Smith