Lenders agreed on code of conduct

Banks and a majority of debt advice firms are agreed on the need for a code of conduct for individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), according to the future head of the British Bankers’ Association.

Angela Knight, soon to be chief executive of the BBA, said that banks and debt advisers were broadly agreed on the need for a code, adding that while she couldn’t be sure every single IVA provider was on board, “the overwhelming majority are”.

IVAs are a mechanism that allow debtors to avoid bankruptcy by writing off some of their debt and repaying the rest over a number of years.

After a rise in the number of IVAs being sought last year it is reportedly becoming more difficult to get banks to write off as much debt as they used to.

Banks have been heavily criticised by a variety of groups recently over their practices, with the Office of Fair Trading recently forcing them to slash their penalty charge rates.

“We seem to move from one regulatory inquiry to another,” Knight told Reuters, adding: “I do appreciate regulators have a job to do, but there are other people around.”

The BBA has over 200 members and manages about 90 per cent of UK bank assets; Angela Knight takes over as chief executive in April this year.

© Adfero Ltd

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