The Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA) has been awarded a Group Licence by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
This licence will enable the majority of Insolvency Practitioners (IPs) licensed by the IPA to undertake consumer credit counselling activity without the need to apply for their own standard licences, thus removing a level of bureaucracy and the associated licence costs, for those IPs that undertake limited levels of activity in the personal insolvency sector. The OFT continues to expect IPs who undertake high volumes of IVA or PTD work to hold a standard CCL.
The licence runs to the point when, in 2014, the current OFT licensing is due to be overtaken by the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regime. It has just been announced that as a result of the submissions that the IPA and others made to the recent consultation by the FCA and the Treasury, the FCA will extend the proposed exemption for IPs from the new regime to include pre-appointment advice. Therefore, the regulatory burden of the CCL scheme will be lifted for IPs conducting debt advice in anticipation of an insolvency appointment when the new scheme comes into effect
IPA President, Charles Turner FIPA says this represents a significant achievement for the Association: “The IPA will always act in the interests of members to ensure that the burden of regulation is proportionate and risk-based, so that their valuable work can be carried on without unnecessary hindrance. This step goes some way in advancing the interests of its members and brings much needed clarity to the requirements upon them.”