Paul Smith, CEO

Hello all.

We have recently published the IPA Anti-Money Laundering Annual Report. As you might expect, we are seeing a marked rise in fraud, in part relating to Covid related government support schemes, as well as increased activity arising from international sanctions. The report therefore couldn’t be more timely, with its commentary on the current AML landscape and information for those in insolvency on how to deal with the emerging threats we have seen. I strongly recommend that our members read this report if not already. It can be accessed here.

The Insolvency Service released its 2021/22 Annual Report and Accounts recently. I was pleased to note the report’s commentary on the IPA’s regulatory activity and its acknowledgements on our improvements made to regulation through, for example, changes to monitoring and complaints handling processes. We are committed to being a modern, progressive, robust and responsible regulator that acts in the best interest of all parties, which is all the more important given the challenging environment that surrounds us all. It is welcome to see our work acknowledged.

More people are looking to personal debt solutions for support during this time, and it is therefore vital that personal insolvency firms are well-equipped to meet any increase in demand. The IPA is particularly focused on these areas of insolvency work through initiatives such as continuous monitoring through our Volume Provider Regulation (VPR) Scheme. I look forward to the publication of our next Benchmark Report on the Scheme in the early part of next year and its insight on the performance of the market.

Similarly, the programme for this year’s Personal Insolvency Conference is of particular significance and is designed to offer a rounded view of matters affecting the personal insolvency sector and developments to be aware of. It includes updates on bankruptcy, tax, IVAs, the economic landscape, regulation and legal developments, delivered by over 20 external speakers. Read more about the event and book places here – now in its 14th year, this conference is proving to be more popular than ever and ticket sales have been brisk!

I will once again be hosting the conference and look forward to both seeing familiar faces and meeting new delegates next week.