Complaining about an insolvency practitioner
This page tells you what to do if you have an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) and you want to make a complaint against your insolvency practitioner.
Conduct of an insolvency practitioner
Insolvency practitioners acting in a formal capacity, for example as supervisors of an IVA or as nominees, are subject to the scrutiny of the professional body that they belong to.
If they are 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 also is 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 (IP) 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 (IP) 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 IP 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 make a complaint 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 is about unprofessional, improper or unethical actions by your IP.
- reverse or alter a decision of an insolvency practitioner
- intervene directly in your IVA.
If you are unhappy about any of these matters, you should get independent legal advice as only a court has the power to look into them. This may be expensive.
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 are 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.
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, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am to 5pm
Wednesday, 10am to 5pm
You can also use the online enquiry form.
Calls usually cost up to 40p a minute from mobiles and up to 10p a minute from landlines. It should be free if you have a contract that includes calls to landlines - check with your supplier if you’re not sure.