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Executive Summary

In its first five years, the IPC has worked hard to understand the complex nature of the insolvency profession and the issues that face those organisations and individuals that are affected by insolvency.

During those years the IPC has met a large number of organisations, which represent businesses and individuals affected by insolvency. It has also spent much of its time meeting the organisations and individuals within the profession to understand the complexities of their work.

As a result of these meetings, the IPC has made a number of recommendations in the Annual Reports and these have been summarised together with the profession's responses to them at the end of this Report.

The key issues that have occupied the IPC in 2004 have been Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), Corporate Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs), Statistics of IVAs and CVAs, Fees and Disbursements, Best Advice for Debtors and Correspondence.

The three Recommendations set out below and explained in detail later in this report are as a result of our work in these areas.

Other issues, which the IPC has considered in 2004, are: Regulation and Monitoring, Complaints, Aged Bankruptcy Cases and debt management schemes that are at the margins of the insolvency profession.

Comment on all these issues is included in the Review of 2004 on page 10. From January 1 2005, the IPC has a new Chairman – Geoffrey Fitchew who until recently was the
Chairman of the Building Societies Association having previously worked in the Cabinet Office, the Treasury and as a Director General in the European Commission in Brussels.

We also welcome two new lay members and two new insolvency practitioners (IPs) to support the members in the next three years.

Recommendations

  • That JIC should set a formal standard of best practice for responding promptly to
    correspondence and keeping both debtors and creditors informed of what is
    happening.
  • That the profession and the Insolvency Service should obtain regular statistics
    about the effectiveness of Voluntary Arrangements as a basis for their policy and
    monitoring decisions.
  • That an IP or an authorised member of his staff should make a fully detailed
    assessment of an insolvent debtor's circumstances, provide a copy to the debtor
    with the options open to them and give a reasoned recommendation as to the
    most appropriate action.
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