Regulator seeks assurance on ANCHO partnership plans and governance issues

Scottish Housing RegulatorThe Scottish Housing Regulator is to seek assurance that ANCHO’s proposal to enter into a constitutional partnership with Cairn Housing Association is in the best interests of its tenants.

The two social landlords announced plans in October 2016 to formally explore the establishment of a partnership which aims to increase the financial and business resilience of the combined organisations.

Now the Regulator has put a medium level of engagement in place for the financial year 2017/18 to observe the developments and also to address weaknesses in ANCHO’s governance and financial management

In a Regulation Plan for ANCHO, the Regulator said: “We have also been seeking assurance from ANCHO on a number of governance issues, including its handling of conflicts of interests and notifiable events. As a result of its investigations into these issues, ANCHO has identified a number of weaknesses in its governance and financial management. We require ANCHO to carry out a comprehensive review of its governance and financial management against our Regulatory Standards and develop an action plan to address any issues arising from this and the weaknesses already identified.”

ANCHO’s two most senior officers have left the organisation and it has appointed an interim senior officer.

The Regulator added that while it had noted from the five year financial projections that ANCHO is forecasting an overall net cash outflow, it will continue to monitor this position as it provides further information in respect of the constitutional partnership.

Responding to the regulation plan, Jackie Browne, chair of ANCHO, told Scottish Housing News: “The Management Board have been working positively with the Regulator over recent months since we reported some areas of weakness and our plans to address these. We were happy to receive their update Regulation Plan and have engaged high calibre interim leadership to support the Board with our plans and to lead our staff team with the changes ahead. Our governance review is now underway with much more planned. We are now also out talking to our tenants to hear their views on our partnership plans with Cairn Housing Association.”

Registered in 2000, ANCHO owns and manages 672 houses and provides factoring services to 197 owners. ANCHO has charitable status and employs 19 people.

As at 31 March 2016 its turnover, for the year, was just over £3.1 million and its debt per unit was £12,470.

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