In this, the second part of our guide, we continue our exploration of the insolvency practitioner’s complaints procedure with everything you need to know to make your voice heard.
7. Is it possible to make a complaint about an insolvency practitioner who is no longer licensed?
You can still complain about an insolvency practitioner if they are no longer licensed. However, this may reduce the sanctions the authorising body can impose against the insolvency practitioner.
8. Can you complain about an official receiver?
The Complaints Gateway is designed to handle complaints about insolvency practitioners only. If you do wish to complain about an official receiver, here is the procedure you should follow.
9. How does the complaints procedure work?
The first step to lodging your complaint is to complete the Insolvency Service’s online complaints form. This can then be emailed or posted to the Complaints Gateway.
It is also possible to make your complaint about the phone by calling 0300 678 0015 and speaking to someone at the Insolvency Service Enquiry Line. They will run through the same questions included on the form.
10. Who will consider your complaint?
Your complaint will initially be reviewed by a member of the Insolvency Service’s staff, who will determine whether the nature of your complaint falls within the scope of the Complaints Gateway.
This decision will be based on the information included on the complaint form, which will be considered along with any supporting evidence. If the complaint is deemed to be appropriate and answerable, it will be forwarded to the insolvency practitioner’s authorising body. Their regulatory team will then be responsible for conducting further investigations.
11. What happens after your complaint has been made to the Gateway?
Complaints will only be passed to the appropriate regulatory body if it relates to an activity or behaviour which may result in disciplinary action. As a guide, there must be evidence of a breach of:
- Insolvency legislation
- Statements of Insolvency Practice
- Registered Professional Body (RPB) regulations, guidance or code of ethics
You will normally be informed whether your complaint has been passed to the relevant RPB within 15 days of lodging your complaint with the gateway. If your complaint is referred, you will be sent acknowledgement by the authorising body within ten working days. You will then be updated as to the progress of your complaint.
Once the complaint has been concluded you will receive a letter from the authorising body which sets out:
- The findings in respect of the complaint; and
- An indication of the proposed further action, if any
12. What are the possible outcomes if your complaint is upheld?
It is important to note that even if your complaint is upheld, it will not automatically result in disciplinary action. Failures such as neglecting to deal with small amounts of correspondence will not necessarily lead to further action.
In more serious complaints, the authorising bodies have been working on a ‘Common Sanctions’ document which details the possible sanctions for insolvency practitioners guilty of misconduct.
13. How long do complaints take to resolve?
The authorising bodies aim to complete the vast majority of investigations within six months. However, there are occasionally more complex cases which take longer to settle due to a number of factors. In this case, you will receive updates about the progress of the investigation.
14. Will you receive any compensation if your complaint is upheld?
The authorising bodies are not permitted to award compensation for any financial loss you have incurred. If you have suffered a financial loss as a direct result of the negligence of an insolvency practitioner, you should seek a remedy through the courts.
For more information regarding complaining about your insolvency practitioner, you should visit the Insolvency Service website by clicking here. Alternatively, if you have questions about a potential liquidation please do not hesitate to call our advisers on 08000 746 757.