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Incoming Chairman's Report

I am pleased to be joining the Insolvency Practices Council at a time of considerable change and challenge for the Insolvency profession, both because of the implementation of the Enterprise Act and, less happily, because of the rapid growth of individual insolvencies.

First, I must express my warm appreciation of and respect for the work done by my predecessor, Graham Kentfield, and his colleagues in the first five years of the IPC's life. Together they have created a public interest body, which is listened to and respected by all involved in insolvency work.

As the review of the IPC’s past work at the end of this report shows, most of the recommendations made by Graham and his colleagues on the standards of conduct of the IP profession have been accepted and implemented to the benefit of those who have dealings with them. The acceptance of the IPC’s recommendations on the treatment of the matrimonial home in bankruptcies is a particular high point.

We welcome two new lay members to the IPC, John Hanlon and Malcolm Watkins and also two new professional members Peter Souster and Ritchie Campbell.

At its first meeting in 2005 the IPC discussed what our priorities should be this year. Clearly, the IPC always has to be ready to respond to external developments and we look forward, in particular, to seeing the results of the Insolvency Service’s Working Party review of IVAs. Apart from this, we have decided to focus our efforts on three main points:-

  • Working with the IS and the RPBs to see whether regular and reliable statistics
    can be produced on the outcomes of IVAs. (This point is covered in more detail
    in one of our 2004 Recommendations agreed with my predecessor).
  • Working with the JIC on how to achieve greater consistency and harmonization
    in the way the RPBs regulate, monitor and discipline the profession. This will
    include discussions with the JIC on their proposals for a revised Ethical Code.
  • Reviewing the way in which IPs and the RPBs handle complaints from the
    members of the public they deal with.

We will continue, as in the past, to keep in touch with all parts of the insolvency profession and with all those who have regular dealings with them.

Geoffrey Fitchew
Chairman (from 1st January 2005)

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