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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Section 430: Floating charges

572.A floating charge is a charge over the property of a company or society. Unlike an ordinary charge, it does not attach to any particular property of the company or society but “floats” over all its property. The charge-holder may under certain circumstances have a receiver appointed to recover the value of the charge.

573.This section applies to companies which may be wound up in any part of the United Kingdom. It is designed to address the situation where a charge-holder’s receiver might be appointed at the same time as a confiscation receiver. It establishes a scheme of priorities so that only one of the receivers acts at any given time. It provides that if a charge-holder’s receiver has been appointed, then any property in relation to which that receiver’s functions are exercisable is not subject to restraint or realisation action under the confiscation legislation. Any property left after the value of the charge had been distributed to creditors would, however, subsequently be available for restraint and realisation.

574.Conversely, if a restraint order is made or realisation action is taken against property before the appointment of the charge-holder’s receiver, it is the charge-holder’s receiver who is prevented from taking action in relation to the property. This does not mean that the charge-holder can no longer recover the value of the charge. The confiscation receiver’s functions must still be exercised in this situation in accordance with section 69, which requires the powers of restraint and receivership to be exercised with a view to allowing third parties to retain or recover the value of any interest held by them. This includes an interest under a floating charge.

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