Calls for Government to extend insolvency bill

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

RSM calls on Government to extend Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act relief

Related tags: Coronavirus, Government, Legislation

Consulting and advisory firm RSM has called on the Government to urgently consider extending the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act beyond the end of September.

The firm is asking for the legislation to be extended by three months until the end of December.

The bill was first introduced in late May​, in a bid to help prevent struggling companies having to file for bankruptcy because of economic problems caused by the Coronavirus crisis by giving them access to tools to help them restructure their debt and keep operating.

RSM says the extension would allow consumer-facing businesses more time to bolster their debt positions and operating models ahead of an anticipated uptick in trading in the lead up to Christmas.

In an open letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, RSM warns that failure to extend the legislation will lead to ‘vast swaths’ of consumer-facing UK businesses collapsing, with directors suddenly becoming personally liable for debts if they are found to be trading whilst insolvent from 1 October.

"Make no mistake - sticking to the current timeline will be the death knell for vast swaths of consumer-facing businesses," says Paul Newman, partner and head of leisure and hospitality at RSM.

"But if these companies can be given a chance to take advantage of an economic upturn, and importantly the Christmas period, the government needs to extend the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act easement.

"By doing so, it will back these businesses and give them a chance to extend their recovery period. Without it, most simply will not survive, and all the Government’s generosity over the summer months will be rendered worthless.

"No industry has been more affected by the Coronavirus pandemic than the consumer facing sectors.

"The Chancellor’s measures have given the industry much need breathing space and the opportunity to be able emerge in a Covid-secure way as lockdown relaxes.

"A three-month extension could - just could – be the life-blood these businesses need to allow them to survive and contribute to the UK’s wider economic recovery."

Related topics: Legislation

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