Insolvency Service targets seeks to return more money to creditors

 
Helen Cahill
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The government body steps in when it deems a case is in the public interest (Source: Getty)

The government is looking to increase the amount it distributes to creditors when it is forced to step in and wind up a struggling company.

The department for business, energy and industrial strategy released figures today showing the Insolvency Service returned £46m to creditors as a result of administrations it completed in 2016-17.

Read more: More than a quarter of construction firms at risk of insolvency

However, the government wants to provide more value to creditors this year. It has set the Insolvency Service the target of returning £55m to creditors in 2017-18.

Business minister Margot James said in a written statement that the Insolvency Service was looking to maintain a high level of customer service, and that it was aiming to give confidence to any investors, lenders and creditors affected by a company’s administration.

However, the service itself is being reformed, and James said the targets for the year ahead reflected the challenges it faces.

The Insolvency Service can pull a company into administration if it believes it is in the public interest to do so. For example, it is currently investigating Kids Company, which folded in August 2015.

The Insolvency Service has been looking into the financial circumstances of the charity and investigating whether its founder and former trustees should be banned from holding company directorships.

The body has also undertaken the mammoth task of looking into the collapse of BHS. It did not act as the administrator in the BHS case, but will be investigating the high street retailer’s former directors, including Sir Philip Green, to judge whether they are fit to run a company.

Given the high-profile nature of the BHS case, the Insolvency Service’s investigation has been fast-tracked.