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Insolvency Service reports on first year of Complaints Gateway 22 August 2014

The Insolvency Service has today (22 August) announced the first year results of its Complaints Gateway, launched in June last year.

During the last 12 months the agency has revealed it has received over 900 complaints through the Gateway, 200 more than in the previous year.

Speaking to Insolvency News, Nick Howard, policy director at the Insolvency Service, said the Gateway has shown a promising start although it is “still early days”.

Howard said: “We’re starting to gather data from the complaints that are now coming through the Gateway; however what we’re not seeing is the outcome of those complaints as that will come further down the line.

“Over the following year we’ll get a much better picture overall as to how the complaints regime is working.

“It is interesting to see the number of complaints and that there has been an increase since last year. It suggests to us the idea of ease of access is working in that people are recognising there is now one place to go to.”

A total of 941 complaints were made during the Gateway’s first 12 months, an increase of 26% and 63% on 2013 and 2012 respectively.

Of the 941 complaints, 699 were referred (74%), 170 were rejected (18%) and 72 complaints were being processed (8%).

IVAs were the subject of most complaints relating to insolvency processes, receiving 220 (32%) of all complaints, followed by administrations with 174 (25%) and liquidations with 148 (21%).

The Insolvency Service has also stated that the implementation of the Gateway has led to more effective monitoring of Regulatory Professional Bodies (RPB) complaints handling.

Howard said: “We’ll use feedback from those who are using the Gateway and the RPBs themselves as to how we can improve the gateway.

“We want to make sure the complaints we receive through the Gateway are passed on to the RPBs as quickly as possible. It allows us to see the themes that are emerging, which helps us when we are talking with the RPBs about how complaints are dealt with.

“We’re also very conscious that there are still two RPBs that aren’t signed up to the Gateway, so we will be having discussion to see if we can get them involved as well.”

Graham Rumney, chief executive of insolvency trade body R3, has welcomed the implementation of the Complaints Gateway.

Rumney said: “Initiatives, like the Complaints Gateway, that add transparency and accessibility to the insolvency regulatory process are welcome.

“The Gateway is a significant improvement on the process it replaces and we were pleased to see it introduced. It’s particularly welcome that there is now hard evidence on the number and nature of complaints; it’s encouraging that, out of the tens of thousands of cases handled by insolvency practitioners in the last year, there have been relatively so few complaints made.”

Read the full Insolvency Service report here.

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