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Repairers up in arms over ARMS

Administrators have been called in at Gloucester-based Accident Repair Management Services (ARMS) following the loss of its main contract with insurance company Endsleigh.

Staff from accountantcy firm KPMG are winding down the accident management business, which is said to owe substantial sums to a number of bodyshops and parts or paint suppliers.

Sources say ARMS, which was launched in 1993, had been delaying payments for a number of weeks. It is also five months late in filing its accounts at Companies House.

Endsleigh, whose after-tax profits rose almost 22% to £5.1m last year, has now awarded its repair contract to Motorcare. AM has learned that some of the businesses affected are planning to form a collective and chase their outstanding payments through the courts.

“There is no way we will allow KPMG and the ARMS management to come up with a cosy deal and get away with this,” says one repairer. “ARMS has clearly failed to manage its business properly. A catastrophe like this shouldn’t become the repairers’ problem.”

KPMG’s statement says the move follows cashflow problems at the accident management company. It adds: “While the company has a significant debtor book, delays in payment from key customers resulted in significant pressure from its suppliers. In view of this, the directors subsequently appointed administrators to protect the business from further action by creditors.

“The administrators now plan to work with directors and company staff to wind down the business in an orderly manner, collect debts due to the company and ensure that realisations for all creditors are maximised.”

At the MVRA, chief executive Mike Monaghan says he has sought legal advice and written to members asking them to contact the organisation if they are owed money by ARMS. “We want to help where we can and hope we’ll be able to help as many members as possible receive payment of monies due,” he says.

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