Major shift to trust accounts ‘not expected’, says Abta chief

Abta does not expect a large shift to trust accounts and has yet to approve the trust arrangements of a single member.

The association announced it would accept trust arrangements to protect customer money for non-flight packages for the first time late last year. However, Abta made clear it would not manage or underwrite trust arrangements.

Chief executive Mark Tanzer told Travel Weekly: “I’m not expecting a huge migration from bonding to trust accounts.

“We don’t want to be in the business of running trusts. The ball is in the member’s court. If a company has a trust arrangement that meets the Package Travel Regulations and it’s clear what happens in the event the company fails – who does the claims handling and repatriation – we’ll say ‘Great’.

“For some companies, that may be the right solution. But for a lot of people, bonding is still the most cost-effective [option], rather than a trust account where a) you lose access to working capital, and b) you have to run the trust account.”

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