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The Insolvency Practices Council (IPC) came into being in the Spring of 2000 as a result of the recommendations of a report published by The Insolvency Regulation Working Party. In particular, the Working Party concluded that professional and ethical standards as an element of regulation should be influenced by external contributions. As a result of this recommendation the IPC was created as the institutional mechanism to carry out this work.

Its remit is to investigate and examine the ethical and professional standards of he insolvency profession, put proposals to the bodies that represent the profession and make recommendations for their consideration. It also considers whether standards are being adopted, observed and enforced. It works closely with the Joint Insolvency Committee (JIC), which is the voice of the recognised Professional Bodies (RPBs) who are required to cooperate with the IPC.

The IPC, which is made up of an independent chairman and secretary, five lay members and three members of the insolvency profession to advise the lay members on technical issues, has been in existence since 2000.

The IPC has made a number of recommendations to the profession in respect of:

  • Unsatisfactory Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs)
  • Correspondence between Insolvency Practitioners (IPs) and Debtors/Creditors
  • The treatment of the Matrimonial Home in Bankruptcy
  • Effective monitoring
  • Fees and disbursements
  • The regulatory structure
Issues surrounding personal insolvency have been and remain a major part of the work of the IPC because private individuals are always more vulnerable than businesses.

The IPC meets IPs around the UK to exchange views on key areas of concern to it. These exchanges prove to be valuable and complement its many meetings with organisations that deal with the public at large, eg, Citizens Advice. The IPC looks at a wide variety of issues where there is public interest in the professional and ethical standards of IPs.

It is not in a position to investigate individual cases. Any complaints should be directed, in the first instance, to the insolvency practitioner concerned and then, if necessary, to the appropriate regulatory body. Details of IPs and their regulatory bodies are shown on the Insolvency Service website.

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