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Enterprise Act 2002

Section 270: Fees

790.Section 270subsection (1) inserts a new section 415A into the Insolvency Act 1986.

791.The new section will enable the Secretary of State to charge a fee to bodies recognised under section 391 Insolvency Act 1986 as a professional body for the purposes of licensing insolvency practitioners (IPs). It is intended that fees prescribed under this provision not only cover the cost of recognition but also the cost of monitoring the bodies’ activities, such as overseeing their procedures and ensuring that licensing is carried out properly. The fee will also cover the cost of more general regulatory functions carried out by The Insolvency Service, such as representation on the Joint Insolvency Council and keeping IPs informed of legislative and other developments through the issuing of newsletters and guidance. The cost of these regulatory functions is currently met by the DTI but the new policy is that they should fall to the profession. The fee, which will be set out in secondary legislation, will be charged to each body based on the number of IPs licensed by them.

792.Subsection (2) of new section 415A provides for a fee to be charged to those IPs licensed by the Secretary of State under section 392, and will be based on the cost of granting and maintaining authorisation. The fee will also include the cost of monitoring the IP and the general regulatory functions undertaken by The Insolvency Service. As with the fee for the recognised bodies, the fee for IPs licensed by the Secretary of State will be set through secondary legislation. The level of the authorisation element of the fee will reflect more closely that charged by the recognised bodies to those IPs they license than the current authorisation fee of £100, which was set in 1986.

793.Subsection (3) provides for payment of fees that relate to the operation of the Insolvency Services Account by The Insolvency Service and money paid into or out of the Account. The Insolvency Service will separate out the costs that relate to its operation of the Insolvency Service Account so that these costs are met by insolvent estates. This will allow for clear identification of those banking services that are carried out in respect of all cases, and that will be charged through an annual service fee, and those that relate to specific estates and transactions such as investment requests by IPs or the volume of payments out of the account through cheques or bank transfers. These changes will also enable the ending of the current arrangements whereby a number of different fees are used to meet these costs and to cross-subsidise other functions. Subsection (4) applies the conditions that apply to fees under section 414 to those introduced under 415A.

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