Samantha Keen, President

Hello everyone.

We start the autumn reflecting on the not unexpected, but nonetheless tumultuous, events of last week, with the appointment a new Prime Minister and the very sad news of the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen was a truly remarkable woman whose values of life-long commitment and dedicated service to the country were a true inspiration for us all. Such values put me in mind of the IPA’s commitment to you, our members, and the insolvency profession, to uphold the highest standards of regulation to the best of our collective ability.

We also take time to pass our sincere condolences to His Majesty, King Charles III and all the Royal family as they mourn the death of The Queen: it must be very difficult to find time for private grief in such a public arena. And we look forward as we wish King Charles the very best as he takes on his new role and leads the country onward from this sad time.

So, as we look forward to the coming year, we are about to commence the membership and licence renewals process and the application portal will open next month. If you are a licence holder, it is advisable to have all the required documents to hand before you commence, and a full list of documents and some preliminary information is included here to help make the process a quick and smooth one.

We have also recently asked members for your views in response to the Call for Evidence from the Insolvency Service, which forms part of its consultation on the personal insolvency framework. The Call for Evidence stems from concerns over the balance between debt forgiveness and repayment in the current regime and whether the right balance has been struck. It also recognises the need to ensure that the system meets the current needs of the consumer and the economy. The approach is similar to that highlighted by the IPA, before we implemented the Volume Provider Regulation (VPR) Scheme in 2018.  I would ask you, especially those who operate in the personal insolvency sector, to help us formulate our response to the Call for Evidence by contributing here.

I look forward to hosting the upcoming Leeds Roadshow on 29th September. We will be joined by an exciting group of speakers including Peter Wordsworth, Head of Policy at StepChange, who will be considering the cost of living crisis and its potential impact on the IVA market; Giles Ecart, Senior Leader at the Redundancy Payments Service, will cover redundancy payment claims; and Lawyers Alice Pratt and Ryan Millmore of Clarion Law will give a practical overview of recent legal updates. Interesting and thought provoking speakers are also lined up for the Birmingham event on 22nd September and London on 19th October: please do book to attend these roadshows if they are local to you and do look out for the special offers on group bookings, as I know both events are booking quickly now. 

Also please note the deadline for IPA Awards nominations is fast approaching on 30 September 2020. Again, I’d encourage you to use the opportunity to nominate some of your deserving colleagues and recognise their contribution to our profession. I do hope that you can join us to celebrate the winners and the nominees at the Awards Reception on 9 November 2022 at the National Theatre’s Buffini Chao Deck. Nominations can be made by anyone who works with insolvency professionals, so do spread the word amongst your network, colleagues and peers.

Finally, November’s Personal Insolvency Conference is not to be missed by all operating in the sector, as we examine in depth the issues around the cost of living crisis and its effect on personal insolvency, as well as other key developments. The day will include a session with Dean Beale, CEO of the Insolvency Service, with an update on Insolvency Service activity, together with a number of distinguished speakers covering topics on bankruptcy and IVAs amongst others. Further details on the speakers and sessions, as well as the opportunity to book your place, may be found here.

On that note, I look forward to seeing many of you at the various Roadshows around the country shortly.

All the best,