The Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) today released the Personal Insolvency Compliance Report 2017-18.
The report provides key compliance, regulation and enforcement outcomes for 2017-18, including on five strategic areas of focus: remuneration and expenses, law reform readiness, independence, administration funds held on trust and information.
Importantly, the report indicates that practitioners prepared well for practice changes following the introduction of the Insolvency Law Reform Act 2016
The number of complaints about personal insolvency practitioners and the Official Trustee has increased, with 257 complaints compared to 176 in 2016-17, however the number of complaints that were found to be justified remained relatively low, at 29.
The report notes that AFSA conducted 45 inspections in 2017-18, including ten remote or eInspections. The assistance of practitioners facilitating remote or eInspections is acknowledged by AFSA and reduces the regulatory burden for all parties.
Debt agreement advertising continues to be a focus and in 2017-18, AFSA intervened in 72 cases of advertising, requiring a correction or removal of misleading advertising. Of these, 63 related to registered debt agreement administrators and nine to brokers or pre-insolvency advisors. Two instances were referred to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission for further investigation.
Mr Hamish McCormick, Chief Executive and Inspector-General in Bankruptcy said the Personal Insolvency Compliance Report provides a window into Australia’s personal insolvency system and the regulation and compliance work that AFSA performs.
‘This transparency is particularly important for those who use, rely on or work in the personal insolvency system’.
‘We believe that compliance is a shared responsibility and we will continue to work closely with professional associations like ARITA, creditor and debtor representatives and other regulatory bodies such as the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), to maintain public confidence in Australia’s personal insolvency system,’ Mr McCormick said.