PROVISION OF SERVICES REGULATIONS SUMMARY SHEET FOR
PBC BUSINESS RECOVERY & INSOLVENCY LIMITED AND PBC (COVENTRY) LIMITED
The following information is designed to draw the attention of interested parties to the information required to be disclosed by the Provision of Services Regulations 2009.
PBC, PBC Business Recovery and Insolvency and PBC Bottomley & Co are the trading names of PBC Business Recovery and Insolvency Ltd (Company Number 03869807) and PBC (Coventry) Limited (Company Number 10057925). Both companies are registered in England and Wales with the registered office at 9/10 Scirocco Close, Moulton Park, Northampton, NN3 6AP.
Gary Steven Pettit is licensed to act as an Insolvency Practitioner in the United Kingdom by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (“ICAEW”). Mr Pettit is also an affiliate of ICAEW.
PBC Business Recovery & Insolvency Ltd is also a registered member of the ACCA.
Rules Governing Actions
All IPs are bound by the rules of their professional body, including any that relate specifically to insolvency. The rules of the relevant professional body (ICAEW) are here.
In addition, IPs are bound by the Statements of Insolvency Practice (SIPs), details of which can be found at here.
At PBC we always strive to provide a professional and efficient service. However, we recognise that it is in the nature of insolvency proceedings for disputes to arise from time to time. As such, should you have any comments or complaints regarding the administration of a particular case then in the first instance you should contact the IP acting as office holder.
If you consider that the IP has not dealt with your comments or complaint appropriately you should then put details of your concerns in writing to our complaints officer Nick Bonser (Operations Manager) at PBC Business Recovery & Insolvency Ltd, 9/10 Scirocco Close, Moulton Park, Northampton, NN3 6AP. This will then formally invoke our complaints procedure and we will endeavour to deal with your complaint.
Most disputes can be resolved amicably either through the provision of further information or following negotiations. However, in the event that you have exhausted our complaints procedure and you are not satisfied that your complaint has been resolved or dealt with appropriately, you may complain to the regulatory body that licences the insolvency practitioner concerned. Any such complaints should be addressed to The Insolvency Service, IP Complaints, 3rd Floor, 1 City Walk, Leeds, LS11 9DA, and you can make a submission using an on-line form available here with guidance here; or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org; or you may phone 0300 678 0015 – details on call charges can be found here.
PBC Business Recovery & Insolvency Ltd holds a Consumer Credit Licence, licence no. 673996 and is authorised under that licence for credit brokerage, debt adjustment and debt counselling. Further details are held on the Consumer Credit Register, which can be found here. Complaints relating to matters under our Consumer Credit Licence can be referred to The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR and you may be able to access their Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system. More information can be found on their website.
Finally, in accordance with EU Regulations, further information about complaints relating to online dealings only can be found here.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
The practice’s professional indemnity insurance is provided by Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd of 5th Floor, Plantation Place South, 60 Great Tower Street, London, EC3R 5AZ. This professional indemnity insurance provides worldwide coverage, excluding professional business carried out from an office in the United States of America or Canada, and any action for a claim bought in any court in the United States of America or Canada.
PBC Business Recovery & Insolvency Ltd is registered for VAT under registration no. 737 7741 95. PBC (Coventry) Ltd is registered for VAT under registration no. 238 4551 94.
Bribery Act 2010 Policy Statement
The objective of this policy is to:
- support the Practice’s stated policy that our business culture is one where bribery is never acceptable;
- record the receipt and payment of any gift and/or hospitality; and
- act as evidence of appropriate procedures to prevent bribery. This document derives from guidance provided by the Ministry of Justice which can be found here.
Policy Statement: Our Practice is committed to carrying on its business fairly, openly and honestly. Our business culture is one where bribery is never acceptable
- Gifts, Payments and Hospitality
All individual gifts, payments or hospitality with a value over £200 must be recorded. All gifts, payments or hospitality with a cumulative value over £500 within a 12 month period must be recorded:
- Policy on whistle-blowing
Policy Statement: Our Practice is committed to carrying on its business fairly, openly and honestly. Our business culture is one where bribery is never acceptable. Everyone in the Practice, whatever their level, is allowed full access to this record within normal business hours. In the event that they become aware of any reward, gift or hospitality being received or provided by anyone in the Practice they may check this record to see that it is duly authorised. If they identify any reward, gift or hospitality that has not been disclosed and authorised, they should, as long as that person is not connected to the matter, report in the first instance to their line manager. If their line manager is involved, they should report to the next manager in line above that level. If the recipient or provider is a partner or Director of the Practice they should report to another partner or Director. All partners and Directors of the Practice undertake that they will not take any disciplinary action or otherwise discriminate against anyone who raises a genuine concern about matters relating to the Bribery Act, whether the concern proves to be valid or unfounded and no matter what position in the organisation the recipient or provider holds. On receipt of any evidence that any gift, reward or hospitality has been given or received and not adequately disclosed and recorded, the relevant line manager, Director, or partner, will report the matter to the board or all of the members, excluding any Director or partner who may be involved in the allegation. The Practice will investigate the circumstances, giving the individual concerned an opportunity to explain the transaction and give reasons for not seeking appropriate authority. Any wilful failure to obtain authority for a qualifying transaction or series of transactions may be treated as a disciplinary matter, even if the investigation finds that the transaction was one that could have been authorised.If the failure is significant enough to suggest that there may be an element of wrongdoing or bribery, it may comprise gross misconduct and could result in immediate dismissal.
- Vulnerable Client Policy
This is the policy of PBC Business Recovery & Insolvency Ltd on the way we respond to the need of our vulnerable clients. Our team understand the effect financial distress and problems can have on individuals and there are extra precautions required to be taken in our dealings with a vulnerable client.
The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) states “a firm must establish and implement clear and effective policies and procedures to identify particularly vulnerable customers and to deal with such customers appropriately.” and this document outlines our procedures.
What is a Vulnerable Client?
The FCA defines a vulnerable client as “someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to detriment, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care.”
Some common examples of vulnerability include:
• Physical disability
• Low English language skills
• Low knowledge or confidence in managing financial matters
• Hearing or visual impairments
• Poor mental health
• Low mental capacity or cognitive disabilities
• Relationship breakdown
Mental capacity impacts upon an individual’s capability to make a decision. Whether or not the person has the ability to understand, remember and consider relevant information will determine whether he/she is able to make an informed decision. The individual will also need to be able to communicate their decision to us without doubt.
The mental capacity of a person may be limited in a way which prevents them from being able to make certain decisions because of impairment of, or disturbance in the functioning of, their mind or brain.
Mental capacity is defined in relation to a specific decision at a specific time. Consequently, when considering the provision of services, we should take account a client’s particular circumstances at the time at which the service or information is being offered.
We should take appropriate steps to identify whether or not a client appears able to understand, remember, and consider the information and explanations provided to them, and when having done so, make an informed decision.
Mental capacity limitations can be permanent, temporary or may fluctuate over time. Consequently, the fact that a person may not have had the mental capacity to make a particular type of decision in the past, does not necessarily mean that they currently do not have, or will never have, the capacity to make such a decision. The identification of mental capacity should be borne in mind at each interaction with a client.
Mental capacity limitations may also be partial. Under such circumstances, the person concerned is likely to be able to make certain decisions but not others. Decisions that may require the understanding, remembering and consideration of relatively complex information are likely to be more challenging for many individuals with mental capacity limitations than more straightforward situations.
A client or prospective client may be understood to have, or suspected of having, any of the conditions above which are potential causes of mental capacity limitation (for example, a mental health condition) but that does not necessarily mean that they do not have the mental capacity to make an informed decision.
We must ensure that we do not act in a manner that could be deemed to be a discrimination on a presumption that an individual does not have the mental capacity to make a particular decision based solely on the knowledge that he/she has a condition of the type listed above.
If an individual provides information which indicates that they do, or may, have some form of mental capacity limitation that might impact on their ability to make an informed decision, this should not lead to them to automatically being denied access to the advice or services being sought, it should act as a trigger for us to consider what reasonable steps might be taken in order to amend its ordinary processes to ensure that the client is treated fairly and a positive outcome results for the individual concerned.
Where an actual or potential mental capacity vulnerability is brought to our attention during the conduct of a formal insolvency appointment, this must be documented.
Where a mental capacity vulnerability is brought to our attention or suspected during pre-appointment or advisory stages, the explicit consent of the client is required to make a record of this information.
Our management team must be involved in all case administration relating to any client we engage with who are known or suspected to have mental capacity vulnerability, irrespective of whether we are able to maintain a record of that vulnerability.
Mental capacity is not the same as financial literacy, although in practice it may often be difficult for us to differentiate a limitation of one from a limitation of the other. In terms of a limitation of mental capacity, the client has some impairment of mind or brain function. An individual limited in financial literacy, likely result from inadequate financial education, may render a client unable to, or feel insufficiently empowered to, manage their finances, engage confidently with us, and make informed financial decisions.
Those with limitations in financial literacy and those with limitations in mental capacity can be classified as groups of actual or potentially vulnerable clients by virtue of their respective limitations. Given that clients with either form of limitation (or both forms) might have difficulty making informed decisions, we will apply our Vulnerable Client Policy in both circumstances.
It has been suggested that being in debt is by its very nature a form of vulnerability. However, given the nature of our services is intended to alleviate the client’s debt problems, being in debt alone will not, without the presence of further additional vulnerability indicators, warrant the application of our Vulnerable Client Policy. However, where there is a significant doubt about a client’s vulnerability, it should ordinarily be applied.
How we Identify Vulnerability
In some instances, information about actual or potential vulnerability may be provided to us by third parties (such as the Official Receiver, advice agencies, creditors, family members or social workers). In other instances, information about vulnerability might be brought to our attention by the client himself/herself during an interaction between them and a member of our team.
Whenever we receive information that indicates that the client may be subject to an actual or perceived vulnerability, irrespective of the source of that information, our team should consider our Vulnerable Client Policy. All clients will be supplied with a link to our Vulnerable Client Policy in our engagement letter.
In other instances, we may formulate our own concerns about actual or potential vulnerability. Whilst acknowledging that there are limits that we can reasonably be expected to go to in seeking to form a view as to whether or not a client has, or may have, some form of vulnerability, it is good practice to invite clients to disclose (on a voluntary basis) whether there are any issues relating to their health, general well-being or other circumstances which may be relevant to the consideration of any advice or services provided by us.
Any such invitation should make very clear that the only purpose of such information would be used for would be to better facilitate an informed service or advice being provided. It should also be made clear that a record of that information may be retained in accordance with our Privacy Notice.
Engaging with Clients
Wherever possible, we offer to provide guidance and recommendations on debt solution options to individuals by conducting face to face meetings. This enables us to identify some aspects of vulnerability through body language and facial expressions. However, we recognise that our client may prefer to engage with us over the telephone or by other remote means, for reasons of accessibility, convenience, geographical location or other reasons relevant to their individual personal circumstances.
When engaging with clients by telephone it may be more difficult to identify a vulnerable client because it is not possible to see many of the characteristics, such as body language and facial expressions, which may identify whether the prospective client requires additional information and guidance to enable them to make an informed decision. For this reason, it is critically important to listen carefully to all clients and to identify people who may be classed as a vulnerable client.
Typical telephone characteristics include an ability to hear or understand what is being said; repeated questions of a similar nature; comments or answers which are inconsistent with the telephone discussion or which indicate an individual has not understood the information which has been provided; verbal conation that they don’t understand or they require the assistance of somebody else in making a decision.
Similarly, when engaging via other remote means, a client’s communications may indicate an absence of understanding or a need for additional assistance. The presence of these indicators should precipitate a dialogue with the client about any potential areas of vulnerability they may wish to disclose and thereafter, the application of our Vulnerable Client Policy.
Just because a client or prospective client is vulnerable or potentially vulnerable, this does not automatically mean that they are unsuitable for the services that we provide. In some instances, they may have no direct choice in our involvement in their affairs, by virtue of a formal insolvency appointment and their vulnerability will need to be factored into our dealings with them.
As soon as we think we may be engaging with a vulnerable client, we should immediately ensure we adhere to this policy and, where appropriate, make a record of the vulnerability and bring this to the attention of our management team at a very early stage in the client relationship.
When communicating with a vulnerable or potentially vulnerable client, we should provide additional opportunities for the client to ask questions about the information we have provided; continuously seek conation that they have understood the information that has been provided; ask if there is anybody with them who is able to assist them; offer them the opportunity to discuss matters again and/or in person, after a period of consideration.
If for any reason we think the client does not understand the service or information which is being offered to them, or to which they are subject, we must advise them that we will write to them with further information about our advice and services and provide them with an added opportunity to obtain additional support.
Our Approach in Dealing with Vulnerable Clients
We must ensure, at all times, that we operate effective means of communication and follow up verbal communications with written correspondence wherever possible. In addition, we must ensure that vulnerability information is documented.
If appropriate, we will ensure that individuals are provided with added support which may include additional time to provide information or respond to any of our requests; ability to take independent advice; ensure our management team are appraised of cases with special needs; enabling / facilitating face to face meetings; allowing a family member or nominated representative interaction (subject to appropriate consent being obtained from the client); flexibility and options (whilst ensuring ongoing compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements); recommend to the client other sources of support; ensure we fully document the advice we provide; set out our opinions clearly in writing for consideration; seek expert opinion / external assistance where necessary; provide continuity with an allocated team member, and that the appropriate team member has the required experience and skill to deal with exceptional circumstances; treat all disclosures of vulnerability with courtesy, sensitivity and appropriate levels of confidentiality and provide relevant continual professional development and awareness training for all staff members.
All our team are trained in effective communication and Vulnerable Client Policy awareness. Training on this is provided periodically, with external support where appropriate.
Where a team member does not feel competent to engage with a client due to their particular vulnerabilities, they should make the management team aware at the earliest opportunity.
Whilst it is important for all staff members to be aware of areas of vulnerability or potential vulnerability, and to act courteously and sensitively towards any such issues as may be identified, it is equally important to recognise that staff members are not qualified to advise on how specific vulnerabilities may be addressed. staff members should therefore refrain from providing information or opinions that are beyond their area of professional expertise.