Paul Smith, CEO

Hello all. With summer now behind us, the IPA team is focused on completing its 2022 plans. Q4 is always a busy period with a full programme of events offering CPD learning opportunities running through to the end of November and an active schedule of visits from the inspection team. We are also actively and directly engaged with the Insolvency Service policy team on the Future of Insolvency Regulation and are looking forward to meaningful developments over the coming months. In this regard, and as a relative newcomer to the sector, I was intrigued to read an IPA response to a 1998 Consultation recently, and struck by the consistency of issues covered, coupled with the similarity of the IPA response.

With the input of our Standards, Ethics and Regulatory Liaison Committee, the IPA is finalising its response to the call for evidence on the personal insolvency framework (closing on 23rd October), which couldn’t be more timely given the challenges presented by the cost of living crisis, and the uplift in interest rates leading to higher mortgage costs.

Following recent events in Iran, members should be aware that the sanctions lists have been updated to include the Morality Police and others.

Looking also to Russia, the AML threat continues to be very fluid. Accordingly, I would like to remind members of the importance of understanding assets under clients’ ownership and control, and the impact on any insolvency appointments. Equally, Customer Due Diligence (CDD) policies must include checking for updated sanctions. Checks must be carried out on new appointments and where payments are due to be made to charge-holders, creditors and shareholders. You are legally required to send a report to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implemenation (OFSI) if you know or suspect that a breach of financial sanctions has taken place. It is also likely that a SAR and DAML request will need to be submitted.

To help with your AML responsibilities in this area, you can access a wide range of AML information and resources in the IPA’s AML Hub.

A reminder to all those taking our Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency (CPI) England and Wales paper that the registration deadline of 27 October is approaching, and the exam date is 17 November. More information and registration for the exam can be found here. I wish you the very best in the rest of your studies and the exam.

I am delighted by the appointment of Heather Childs Potter, IPA Regulation Assistant and Diversity and Inclusion Champion, to the Diversity and Inclusion Insolvency group led by the Insolvency Service and R3. The Steering Group has been set up as a network of advocates to help drive diversity and inclusion in our sector through initiatives including outreach work to raise awareness, taking part in research to identify barriers and promoting existing best practice. I look forward to working with Heather as the group’s work progresses, as well as the IPA’s own Diversity Forum event in February 2023 – more details to follow.