The Official Receiver should generally transfer bankruptcies an insolvency practitioner where there are assets to be realised. The exception to this has been where the assets consist solely of cash, or bank account contents, where the OR's regional offices would retain the case.
Private sector IPs have claimed the OR has expanded its remit to work involving other forms of asset beyond and are intruding on the work of insolvency practitioners.
Neil Hickling, director of restructuring at Smith & Williamson, said: “When the regional centres were set up they were only going for the easy cash assets work then they started looking at the other cases with equity.”
He said his firm has had to shift focus onto corporate administrations which he believes is not an isolated case.
An Insolvency Service spokeswoman said: “It is wrong to say that the regional centres were created solely to take on bankruptcy cases where no assets are involved.”
“Where assets are straightforward, there is no obligation for the cases to be passed on, and our research has shown that, when cases particularly bankruptcies remain with the OR, they often achieve a much better result for creditors than similar cases which are passed to IPs.
“Complaints on this matter are rarely received, suggesting that this is a very minor issue.”