Mr Savage as supervisor of an Individual Voluntary Arrangement:
Did not explain sufficiently to the debtor prior to her approving a variation report that the lump sum payment offered in full and final settlement of her IVA may not lead to the conclusion of the IVA within a reasonable timescale as she anticipated.
Between 19 April 2013 and 28 August 2014 failed to issue a certificate of completion in a timely manner.
Having considered the investigation report, the complainants’ and member’s representations, the committee found there was a prima facie case in respect both heads of complaint. The committee found that there had been a fundamental breach of the Insolvency Code of Ethics and there had been protracted periods of delay at every stage which amounted to an unreasonable delay in issuing the certificate of completion. As a consequence, the committee decided that Mr Savage had performed his professional work inefficiently or incompetently to such an extent as to bring discredit on himself, the Institute or the profession of accountancy.
Taking into account all circumstances, the committee decided that Mr Savage should be asked to consent to the making of an order that he be reprimanded, fined £4,000 and pay costs.
The committee had regard to the common sanctions guidance which indicates the starting point in respect of (1) a material breach of the fundamental principles of the Insolvency Code of Ethics is a reprimand and fine commensurate with the breach, and (2) for a delay in progressing the administration of an insolvency estate the starting point is a reprimand and a fine of £2,500. It concluded that in this case a fine of £4,000 was warranted.
Following the finding of a prima facie case, on 9 September 2016, with the agreement of Mr Richard Hilton Savage, the Investigation Committee ordered that he be reprimanded, fined £4,000 and pay costs.