Media release: Spotlight on Personal Insolvency Practitioners - Australian Financial Security Authority report

Friday, January 8, 2016

Australian Financial Security Authority’s Chief Executive and Inspector-General in Bankruptcy, Veronique Ingram, today released AFSA’s annual Personal Insolvency Practitioners Compliance Report.

Ms Ingram said that one of AFSA’s key roles is the regulation of Australia’s 281 personal insolvency practitioners.

"These practitioners are primarily registered bankruptcy trustees and registered debt agreement administrators,” she said.

"In keeping with AFSA’s strategy to provide all stakeholders with quality information and reporting, AFSA today released its third specialised report about the performance of private personal insolvency practitioners and the results of its regulatory and enforcement activities.

"Delivering accessible, accurate and consistent information services to empower clients and stakeholders in making informed decisions is a key goal of AFSA’s Corporate Plan and complements the wealth of practitioner related data contained within AFSA’s annual report.

“The provision of such information contributes to building confidence and maintaining the integrity of the personal insolvency industry."

Ms Ingram said that Australia’s 281 private personal insolvency practitioners administered in excess of $561 million, involving more than 57,000 personal insolvency administrations in 2014-15.

“AFSA’s regulatory approach focuses on early intervention and promoting effective and efficient dispute resolution,” she said.

“This is reflected in the 24 per cent reduction in complaints against practitioners in 2014-15 showing the practical outcomes possible through improved client engagement and communication.

"AFSA will continue its review of practice and procedure in 2015-16 and implement recommended initiatives to reduce the compliance burden on stakeholders, consistent with the government’s deregulatory agenda.”

Outcomes from these initiatives will be reported in AFSA’s new Regulatory Performance Framework across six areas: reducing regulatory burden, communications, risk-based and proportionate approaches, efficient and coordinated monitoring, transparency, and continuous improvement.

Ms Ingram acknowledged the ongoing significant contributions of the Australian Restructuring and Insolvency Turnaround Association, the Personal Insolvency Professionals Association, creditors, financial counsellors and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

“AFSA will continue to build on its strong relationships with private personal insolvency practitioners, debtors and creditors to improve practice and procedure and ensure rigorous compliance with the legislative requirements of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.

“Australia has a robust, equitable, and effective personal insolvency regulatory system and it’s important to continually improve our services to remain one of the best global jurisdictions in personal insolvencies,” she said.

The Personal Insolvency Practitioners Compliance Report 2014-15 supplements the data already available in the AFSA Annual Report 2014-15.

To provide useful context and relativity to the data for 2014-15, a five year mean is provided in Annexure B to the report.