MD of Protected Trust Services (PTS), Daniel Landen, was invited to a Travel Weekly webcast to discuss the ATOL reform consultation surrounding the move to trust account funding. Taking the state of the travel industry into account, he was enthusiastic for the recognition for trust accounts, and advised a flexible approach that would be accessible to the wider industry.
This is a step in the right direction for the whole industry. “Thomas Cook and Covid have highlighted the need to separate working capital from consumer funds,” Daniel said, alongside saying that the CAA were taking a good look at the long-term benefits of integrating trust accounts. Not only for consumer confidence, but separation of monies, licensing benefits, and a solution to the current issues surrounding RCNs.
“Small travel businesses may be petrified of [this switch to trust]. They don’t need to be. There are a lot of options,” Daniel said. Monies remaining in trust, through the CAA’s ‘Gold standard’, until the end of the holiday is not the only option. For smaller businesses who still need to pay their suppliers in advance, it is the separation of client funds, and move against working capital that is the key.
Daniel emphasises the focus on trust accounts run well. “There are trust accounts, and there are trust accounts,” he said, explaining all the great benefits of trust accounts, as long as they are run well. He detailed the way PTS run trust accounts, with independent trustees, daily reconciliation down to each individual booking, and proper segregation.
This ATOL reform consultation is perhaps one of the biggest things to happen for the travel industry in the 21st century, and though “there will never be a good time,” as Daniel said, this change is an important one, and it will impact the whole travel industry.
Below, you will find the entire Travel Weekly webcast with Daniel Landen, and Alan Bowen, on the topic of the ATOL reformation consultation.
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