Press, Policy and Public Affairs Update: July
06 August 2021
The final three weeks before the start of the parliamentary summer recess were busy ones for R3’s Press, Policy and Public Affairs Team, with a range of consultations, parliamentary appearances and briefings to deliver and prepare for – as well as continuing to give the profession a voice on key issues in the media…
A Parliamentary Committee appearance
Following our work on , which saw R3 mentioned at the dispatch box by the Shadow Insolvency Minister, R3 Past President Duncan Swift was also invited to give evidence on behalf of R3 and the profession to the Public Bill Committee on 8th July.
Following this session, and Duncan Swift’s raising of the profession’s views on the proposed future powers for Companies House and on the draft legislation, the Labour Party tabled two amendments to the Bill.
The first would have required the Secretary of State to report every three months how many companies the IS had investigated and disqualified, while the second compelled the Secretary of State to lay an assessment of the Bill’s effectiveness one year on from implementation. When explaining these proposed amendments, Shadow Insolvency Minister Seema Malhotra MP quoted directly from Duncan’s evidence.
Debating the future of regulation
Later in the month, R3 CEO Caroline Sumner attend the APPG on Fair Business Banking’s roundtable on the future of regulation in the insolvency profession.
During the debate, Caroline highlighted the changes in the regulatory landscape over the last decade, and that while there is room for improvement, the current regulatory framework is robust and effective.
A new single regulator could be prohibitively expensive to set up, she said, and views in the profession were split on the benefits of introducing one, while there was not enough evidence that the current approach doesn’t work.
A voice on audit and corporate governance proposals
July also saw us respond to the Government’s ‘Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance consultation’, with our submission covering two key themes: an emphasis on encouraging greater awareness of directors’ duties and supporting directors to fulfil them; and the need to adopt a more comprehensive approach to improving the integrity of the UK’s corporate governance framework.
We look forward to reading the Government’s response when parliament returns for its autumn and winter sitting.
Researching Diversity and Inclusion issues
As part of our work with the Insolvency Service, we ran a survey on the current level of diversity within the insolvency and restructuring profession over July.
Thank you to those you who completed it – your feedback will help us identify which areas of diversity and inclusion need addressing, and help us develop a plan to address these.
R3 in the media
Media interest in the profession and its work remains high. During July, R3 and its spokespeople have briefed journalists from a range of media outlets that include Bloomberg, the BBC, The Herald and S&P media about issues that range from the Directors’ Disqualification Bill to future SME debt.
Our commentary on insolvency trends and policy announcements continues to be popular with national, trade and regional media, with our responses to the June England and Wales insolvency statistics quoted in stories in the The Independent, and our comments on the Q2 2021 statistics being quoted in the Daily Telegraph’s blog, as well as a range of regional and trade media outlets.
Our guide for company directors, which we launched at the end of June, has also been featured in a number of stories in regional and specialist media outlets, and been shared by several trade and business bodies including the IoD, the CBI and the FSB.
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