Why we are engaging with Bield
We are engaging with Bield because it is a systemically important landlord.
COVID-19 has significantly impacted the services provided by social landlords in 2020 and will continue to influence how services are provided in 2021. We will continue to monitor, assess and report upon how each landlord is responding and we will keep our regulatory engagement under review so that we can continue to respond to the challenges of COVID-19.
We refer to a small number of RSLs as systemically important because of their stock size, turnover or level of debt or because of their significance within their area of operation. We need to maintain a comprehensive understanding of how their business models operate, and how they manage the risks they face and the impact these may have. So we seek some additional assurance each year through our engagement plans. Given Bield’s size and turnover we consider it to be systemically important.
In 2020/21 Bield advised us that it had identified weaknesses in the quality of the evidence underpinning some of the indicators in its Annual Return on the Charter. Bield has shared its improvement plan with us and we will work with it as it implements the changes it needs to make.
What Bield must do
- send us quarterly progress reports on its improvement plan; and
- provide copies of its Board and audit committee minutes as they become available.
What we will do
- liaise with Bield about the implementation of its improvement plan;
- review the minutes of the Board and audit committee meetings and liaise as necessary;
- meet with Bield’s senior staff to discuss the impact of the pandemic on its existing business model and business plan and any risks to the organisation particularly in relation to its services to tenants; and
- update our published engagement plan in light of any material change to our planned engagement with Bield.
Bield must provide us with the following annual regulatory returns and alert us to notifiable events as appropriate:
- Annual Assurance Statement;
- audited financial statements and external auditor’s management letter;
- loan portfolio return;
- five year financial projections; and
- Annual Return on the Charter.
It should also notify us of any material changes to its Annual Assurance Statement, and any tenant and resident safety matter which has been reported to or is being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive or reports from regulatory or statutory authorities or insurance providers, relating to safety concerns.