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Complain about an insolvency practitioner

This advice applies to Wales

Insolvency practitioners acting in a formal capacity, for example as supervisors of an individual voluntary agreement (IVA) or as nominees, are subject to the scrutiny of the professional body they belong to.

If they're not acting in this capacity, but are, for example, involved in advising you on your debts, they have to follow the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules and guidance.

There is also a voluntary code of practice, called the IVA Protocol, which all insolvency practitioners and most creditors have signed up to. The protocol makes sure the processes involved in setting up and managing an IVA are clear and fair. It also sets out the terms and conditions all parties must follow.

Step 1: contact your insolvency practitioner directly

If you’re not happy with the service you’ve received from your insolvency practitioner you can make a formal complaint to them. You can make your complaint by phone or in writing, but if you do it by phone, send a letter as well to back up what you’ve said. This will also mean you have proof of your complaint. You can find a sample letter on GOV.UK.

Step 2: complain to the Insolvency Service

If you’re not happy with how your insolvency practitioner has dealt with your complaint, you can complain online to the Insolvency Service on GOV.UK. They'll assess your complaint and send it to the organisation your insolvency practitioner is registered with.

Complaining about the Insolvency Service

If you’re not happy with how the Insolvency Service has dealt with your complaint, you can complain about the Insolvency Service on GOV.UK.

You can also find information about making a complaint on GOV.UK.

What can they investigate?

The authorising body will investigate your complaint if it's about unprofessional, improper or unethical actions by your insolvency practitioner.

They can’t:

  • reverse or alter a decision of an insolvency practitioner
  • intervene directly in your IVA

If you're unhappy about any of these matters, you should get independent legal advice because only a court has the power to look into them. This might be expensive.

The outcome

If the authorising body agrees with your complaint, they can fine the practitioner or take away their licence.

If the authorising body disagrees with your complaint and you're not happy with the outcome, you can take the complaint further. Your options are:

  • use the authorising body’s independent complaints reviewer, if they have one
  • use arbitration or an alternative dispute resolution service

Next steps

Other useful information

Get more advice on complaining about an insolvency practitioner from the Insolvency Service’s guidance.

You can also get help from the Insolvency Service enquiry line.

The Insolvency Service enquiry line
Telephone: 0300 678 0015
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

You can also use the Insolvency Service's online enquiry form.

Your call is likely to be free of charge if you have a phone deal that includes free calls to landlines - find out more about calling 030 numbers.

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