The Insolvency Service publish the twenty first release of its monthly series to provide more up to date information on the number of companies and individuals who are unable to pay debts and enter formal insolvency procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it continues. The release supplements the Insolvency Service’s quarterly company and individual Insolvency National Statistics.
Be aware that there have been Government measures put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including temporary restrictions placed on the use of statutory demands and certain winding up petitions and enhanced government financial support for companies and individuals. There was also the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 and for individuals, the Breathing Space scheme. As of 29 June 2021, new monetary eligibility limits for Debt Relief Orders in England and Wales came into effect. All of these have a part to play in the statistics.
Note that some of these temporary measures have ended or been replaced, as of 30th September 2021.
Comparisons in data will be made throughout; comparing to pre-pandemic levels and during pandemic.
Company Insolvencies (UK)
In December 2021 there was a total of 1,486 registered company insolvencies across England and Wales, further broken down as follows:
- 1,365 creditors voluntary liquidations (CVLs) – 37% higher than that in December 2020 and 73% higher than in December 2019
- 72 administrations – 52% lower than that in December 2020 but 49% lower than in December 2019
- 42 compulsory liquidations – 2% lower to that in December 2020 and 67% lower than December 2019
- 7 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) – 84% lower than in December 2020 and 67% lower than in December 2019
- No receivership appointments
These figures are 20% higher than that in the same month the previous year and 33% higher than that in the same month two years before (pre-pandemic). It also shows a decrease to November 2021. The overall increase in company insolvencies was thought to be due to a higher amount of CVLs, as has been a consistent pattern for months prior.
Note: between 26 June and 31 December 2021, fifteen companies were granted a moratorium and ten had restructuring plans sanctioned by the court. These procedures were created by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.
Also, to consider, this month saw, for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of registered company insolvencies higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Company Insolvencies (Scotland)
December 2021 saw 93 company insolvencies in Scotland. Figures are made of 17 compulsory liquidations, 74 CVLs and 3 administrations. There were no receiverships or CVAs. These statistics are 63% higher than that of December 2020 and 4% higher than that of December 2019.
Historically, the number of company insolvencies registered in Scotland has been driven by compulsory liquidations but since April 2020, there have been over twice as many CVLS as compulsory liquidations.
Between 26 June 2020 and 31 December 2021, there were no moratoriums obtained in Scotland and two companies had a restructuring plan registered at Companies House. The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 created these two new procedures.
Company Insolvencies (Northern Ireland)
In December 2021, there were 9 company insolvencies in Northern Ireland – the same as in November 2021. December’s figures comprised of 7 compulsory liquidations, 1 CVA and 1 administration. There were no CVLs or receiverships. The total figure here mirrored that in December 2020, but was 72% lower than in December 2019.
Touching on individual insolvencies….
For UK figures, there were a total of 1,872 Debt Relief Orders (DROs) recorded in December 2021. Such statistics are 51% higher than in December 2020, but 10% lower than in December 2019. Note that as of 29 June 2021 some changes occurred to DRO eligibility which may have a part to play.
There were 434 bankruptcies for England and Wales in December 2021. The records are made up of 380 debtor applications and 54 creditor petitions. Monthly bankruptcy numbers between July and December 2021 were lower than that the year before, and pre-pandemic.
Compared to November 2020, bankruptcies were 47% lower, with debtor applications 49% lower and creditor petitions 33% lower. When looking at 2019, figures were 60% lower for total bankruptcies, 59% lower for debtor applications and 66% lower for creditor petitions.
The decrease in bankruptcies is thought to be driven by a fall in debtor applications, in correspondence with the enhanced Government financial support for individuals and businesses since COVID-19 emerged.
It was also found that there were 6,648 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) registered, on average, during the three months ending December 2021. This figure is 16% lower than the three-month period ending December 2020 but 15% higher than that ending December 2019.
When looking at the figures for Northern Ireland, December 2021 saw 81 individual insolvencies. This is 48% lower than that in December 2020 and 42% lower than in December 2019. This consisted of 63 IVAs, 11 DROs and 8 bankruptcies.
Find the full publication of statistics here.