Press, Policy and Public Affairs update: May 2022
10 June 2022
A new piece of legislation on fraud and economic crime, parliamentarian briefings, the return of R3’s Annual Conference and continued media interest in the profession are just some of the things that have kept R3’s Press, Policy and Public Affairs Team busy this May …
Movement on Companies House reform
The second Tuesday in May saw Queen’s Speech – and with it, the announcement of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, which contains measures aiming to tackle economic crime, strengthen national security, and boost small businesses – including plans to reform Companies House.
We were glad to hear confirmation that these reforms will be included in the Bill, but will be writing to the Minister shortly to seek clarification on how office holders will be able to access the full range of information to be collected by Companies House on companies and directors in future. The fact that office holders will have access to this information is a real positive – and something R3 lobbied for extensively.
We’ve met with a number of MPs this month to discuss the importance of these reforms, as well as where the government could do more – particularly in relation to the company dissolution process and Companies House’s automatic strike-off powers.
These meetings will help to lay the groundwork for the policy paper we’re hoping to launch in July, setting out further recommendations for reform of the UK’s corporate governance framework that will help the insolvency and restructuring profession to play an even greater role in the fight against fraud than it does currently.
Annual Conference returns
This year’s three-day Annual Conference, held at the Beaumont Estate in Windsor, was attended by more than 300 people from across the profession.
The programme covered topics that ranged from the future of regulation through to the merits of using restructuring plans in the mid-market, as well as providing a number of networking opportunities for delegates.
Our two keynote speakers, BBC News Economics Editor Faisal Islam and Insolvency Service Chief Executive Dean Beale, provided insights into a number of issues – including the factors leading to the current economic situation, the challenges the Government faces in addressing it, and the Insolvency Service’s views on the next steps of the insolvency regulation consultation.
We were also reminded of the need to secure greater stakeholder understanding about the profession and the framework within which it operates – something we’ll continue to do through our work engaging with the media, parliamentarians and key business stakeholder bodies.
R3 in the media
It’s been another busy month for R3’s media team. Our comments on the Queen's Speech featured in several articles in the trade media, while our new President Christina Fitzgerald was quoted in Credit Connect responding to plans to reform to Companies House.
We also featured in stories in LexisNexis and Accounting Web, discussing concerns over the speed at which the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill will be introduced. in R3’s response to April insolvency statistics was also well received, featuring in stories in national media like The Times, trade publications including Credit-Connect and Tri Strategy, and regional outlets that included The Northern Echo and The Oldham Times.
R3 was also quoted in a range of stories about local business trends – particularly in relation to the rise in start-ups in Scotland and the South West where R3 was quoted in articles in The Scotsman, Insider, Business Live and BBP Media, while our comments on insolvency-related activity in Yorkshire also saw us featured in articles in Business Up North, The Yorkshire Post and Bdaily News.
And finally, R3’s continued work on ‘myth busting’ around insolvency practitioner fees continued, with Vice President Nicky Fisher quoted in Accounting Web explaining the difference between what’s charged and what’s billed in insolvency cases.
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