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IS 2012: Insolvency Service plans to plug "large hole" in accounts 1 March 2012

The Insolvency Service (IS) has confirmed it has now made arrangements to move out of its London head office in June of this year.

Speaking at the Insolvency Today Scotland conference, Nick Howard, policy director at the IS, said the move is the first in a series of closures and office moves which have been triggered as a result of the organisation’s “Delivery Strategy”.

While he admitted that consultation on the closure of local offices is still ongoing, he said the plans for eight regulation centres by 2014 remain in place.

He added: “We have had to look at the fee structure because we ended up with a ‘rather large hole’ in the accounts. The idea is that the work the Insolvency Service does is paid for by the fees from the services that it provides.

“That has not been happening lately because of the numbers and the assets in bankruptcies haven’t been as high as previously witnessed.”

Among the changes being made to the IS are the restructure of fees to address the bad debt position and the cutting (or consultation of) temporary staff and 470 permanent staff.

The IS is aiming to reduce costs by £58 million in under two years and is developing a longer term restructuring strategy which includes a review of fees and income options.

Howard explained: “The numbers still seem to be going in what we might consider ‘the wrong’ direction, but the ‘right direction’ from an economic perspective. The anticipation is that the number of bankruptcies will continue to fall.

“We are still getting told every now and again that there is going to be an explosion in case numbers on the way. But we were told that previously and planned our organisational needs around it but it never really materialised.”

By Joe McGrath, in Glasgow

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