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18/10/2018

Views from the R3 President - October 2018

As your President for this year, I have particularly enjoyed the privilege of speaking to different groups about the huge contribution our profession makes to the UK economy. Over the past months, I have met parliamentary select committee chairs, MPs, journalists and creditor groups, like the British Property Federation, to get across our profession’s side of the story. I have been busy speaking to the profession about our work, too, visiting colleagues at R3 regional meetings in Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bury St Edmunds, Bristol and Birmingham with meetings in Leeds and Edinburgh already in the diary as well as this month's SPG conference in the Cotswolds. I have also had the opportunity of getting views from our friends and colleagues at INSOL Europe, both at the joint conference held in London earlier in the summer and at their excellent conference held in Athens in early October.

We all know the importance of the part our profession plays in the UK being seen as an attractive place to do business. We are there to get businesses and individuals their money back when things go wrong. We rescue businesses and jobs. We should be proud of what we do.  The World Bank does not rate our framework as among the best in the world for nothing.

In our line of work though, at the sharp end of financial distress, we should always expect questions about the work we do, the value we provide, and how we protect the public interest. We cannot be complacent, not least because of the emergence of the active competition from other jurisdictions seeking to take advantage on the uncertainty concerning the Brexit negotiations to compete with our own regime to attract restructuring opportunities.

With all professional services, including the insolvency and restructuring profession, coming under the microscope at the moment, it is all the more important for our profession to have answers to these questions. It is all the more important that we, as a profession, act maintain the highest standards at all times. With this in mind, members may be interested to read the latest report  from the Insolvency Service on insolvency practitioner regulation. The report provides a summary of the Insolvency Service’s findings into the implementation of the 2015 ‘Regulatory Objectives’ for the RPBs. The Service has said that they will continue their oversight activities over the coming months as they move towards a decision on whether to introduce a single regulator, as provided for in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.

The report has some criticisms of the existing regulatory structure, while some of the Insolvency Service’s points about IVAs chime with comments made in a recent paper published by R3’s personal insolvency committee. Having a strong and effective regulatory framework is a key part of helping our profession shine in the spotlight, so R3 will be working with the Insolvency Service and the regulators to make sure the report’s criticisms are addressed.

Corporate Insolvency Reforms

One of the ways in which we are looking to increase the opportunities for members to express their views on important issues of the day is the holding of member discussion forums. We held the second of these on 11 October 2018 at the London offices of Squire Patton Boggs, courtesy of Cathryn Williams and Paul Muscutt to whom we are very grateful for their hospitality and support. We discussed the Government’s proposed corporate insolvency reforms; the lively and interesting discussion will inform the response and suggestions that we will make to the government in due course. This in turn provides me with an opportunity to provide a reminder that there is still time to sign up for our forum on the reforms at the Leeds office of Squire Patton Boggs on 24 October 2018. It is complementary to members with a breakfast being provided. Email courses@r3.org.uk to register your interest. The more members we hear from, the better.

The Ladies Lunch

Finally, it would be remiss of me to not to comment on the London Ladies Lunch which took place on the afternoon of Friday 12 October. It celebrated more than 20 years since the first event, which has proved so popular over the years, celebrating the tremendous contribution women make to our profession. At a time when diversity in the professions is under considerable scrutiny, it is right that we do all we can to promote each and every constituent part of our own profession; we all know that this is an area where we must continue to improve. I would like to thank Nyla Yousuf and her colleagues on the organising committee together with all at R3 HQ for putting on such an excellent event.

 

Notes to editors:

  • R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals and represents the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners.

  • R3 comments on a wide variety of personal and corporate insolvency issues. Contact the press office, or see www.r3.org.uk for further information.

  • R3 promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled individuals and businesses; all R3 members are regulated by recognised professional bodies
     
  • R3 stands for 'Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal' and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.