We set Billy (Get A Grip) the task today (Thursday) of finding out a little more about Kevin Hollinrake, the Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton in the district of Ryedale, North Yorkshire. We now know he is 57 and a Capricorn who was born in the delightful Georgian market town of Easingfold in Yorkshire.
Oddly, no website could tell us the colour of his eyes, so we can update them all and tell them they are hazel brown due, we think, to a combination of Rayleigh scattering and a moderate amount of melanin in the iris' anterior border layer. What we don’t know is his shoe size (which is actually what we were after). Whatever the size of his boits (look it up) he has fair lamped into the insolvency profession with them, calling for a shake-up of insolvency regulation after a series of misconduct cases centred around conflicts of interest between banks and Insolvency Practitioners. What he could have said, if he had been overheard doing so, is “If ever tha does owt for nowt, do it for thisen.” Again, you may need a translator for this.
In the same context, we also asked Billy to look up the law of defamation today and, more specifically, libel. After 30 minutes he came back with,
“This means ‘people aren’t hungry’”, so we left it there and have decided to tread carefully. Mr Hollinrake said that he didn’t think Insolvency Practitioners were, “all the time, deliberately going out to defraud people, it’s just the system.” If you do go out to deliberately defraud people all the time we apologise on behalf of Mr Hollinrake, as we certainly didn’t mean to offend you.
He claims that two firms, one of which is a really good client of NTI and the other is Deloitte, who are in the process of being sued for negligence and, it is alleged, misconduct. “Ultimately, it’s a failure of the regulatory framework, and that’s a failure of Parliament. We can’t change human nature, what you’ve got to do is put in place the checks and balances to make sure that we deal with human nature. That’s what we’ve got to do, and yet we haven’t,” he says. Well, Mr Hollinrake, od thi dog back
On the same matter, a further low blow was landed by Heather Buchanan, executive director of Fair Business Banking APPG who called for panel agreements to be banned and a new regulator to be put into place. She says that Insolvency Practitioners have a “spectacular amount of power and trust that’s held within that office, baked into their actual appointment “, and there is an unholy alliance, “where you’ve got the banks and the insolvency practitioners basically in cahoots.”
Insolvency Practitioners are highly qualified and intensely regulated. Almost a year ago to the day the Government issued a call for evidence on the regulation of our profession. R3 responded in October of last year, saying, “At the time of writing, there are five RPBs in the UK: the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA); Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI); the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA); the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW); and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS). The RPBs undertake monitoring visits, to ensure members' compliance with the rules, and are the initial arbiters of complaints made against licence holders.”
You know, we don’t need another regulator, we need fewer. In the NTI newsroom we detected the suggestion in the Honourable Member’s statement that IPs are regulated by themselves and there is a need for something like an ‘employment tribunal’ to inject more independence into the process. Tell that to a firm of IPs who is undergoing a visit from the IPA or ICAEW. Of course, mistakes happen and of course sometimes the numbers that go with those mistakes are big and look hideous to an onlooker. But there is nothing wrong with our ethics and the way we regulate our glorious profession.