Colne has retained its top v1 financial rating and remains compliant following an assessment by the social housing regulator.
However Colne, which has an A+ credit rating (AA- before the post Brexit decrease from Standard and Poors) is strengthening its approach to project management after receiving a G2 governance grading in the Homes and Communities Agency’s Regulatory Judgement, released on September 28.
The judgement was based on evidence gained from the regulator when carrying out an in-depth assessment (IDA) earlier this year.
The organisation is complying with regulatory standards but there are areas for improvement.
Colne’s Chief Executive Sara Thakkar said
“The compliance judgement was a positive reflection of the work undertaken in the last year by Colne and its Board on its governance standards, risk management and Value for Money approaches.
“The end of the IDA, which started in April and finished late July, coincided with data inconsistencies being found within the standard compliance returns (the quarterly statements and FFR) and this resulted in us receiving a compliance score against Governance but at a G2 rating. Viability remains V1. An improvement plan is in place to address the HCA’s findings. “
She explained there had been a project management weakness when submitting regulatory returns. This was at a time when the FRS102 work was being completed, the end of year accounts were being processed, the HCA were on site and a new Brixx model was being developed to account for more complex treasury instruments.
The judgement says:
“Colne meets the regulator’s governance requirements but needs to improve some aspects of its governance arrangements to support continued compliance.
“Colne continues to meet viability standards and has the financial capacity to deal with a wide range of adverse scenarios.”
Colne is a 3,000-home housing association which provides a range of housing solutions in Essex and Suffolk to enable independent living.