The Insolvency Service publish the latest 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. The release supplements the Insolvency Service’s quarterly company and individual Insolvency National Statistics.
Be aware that Government measures were put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including temporary restrictions 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, 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. This being said, it should be made aware that the majority of these measures have been lifted or replaced now.
Comparisons in data will be made throughout; comparing to pre-pandemic levels (2019) and during pandemic (2021).
Company Insolvencies (UK)
In March 2022 there was a total of 2,114 registered company insolvencies across England and Wales, further broken down as follows:
- 1,844 creditors voluntary liquidations (CVLs) – over double that in March 2021 and 62% higher than in March 2019
- 131 compulsory liquidations – almost four times as many compared to that in March 2021, but 45% lower than in March 2019
- 129 administrations – 74% higher than in March 2021 but 26% lower than in March 2019
- 10 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) – Identical to that in March 2021 but 66% lower than in March 2019
- No receivership appointments
These figures are more than double that seen in March 2021 and 34% higher than that in the same month three years before (pre-pandemic). This was also higher than in February 2022. The overall increase in company insolvencies was said to be due to a higher amount of CVLs, as has been a consistent pattern for months prior. An interesting change in patterns has been noticed too since typically there are more administrations than compulsory liquidations, but for March 2022, it is the opposite.
Note: between 26 June 2020 and 31 March 2022, 36 companies were granted a moratorium and 10 had restructuring plans sanctioned by the court. These procedures were created by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.
Company Insolvencies (Scotland)
March 2022 saw 86 company insolvencies in Scotland - just slightly more than that in February 2022. Figures are made of 71 CVLs, 9 compulsory liquidations and 6 administrations. There were no receiverships or CVAs. These statistics are 100% higher than that of March 2021, but 11% lower than that of March 2019.
Historically, the number of company insolvencies registered in Scotland has been driven by compulsory liquidations but since April 2020, there have been almost three times as many CVLS as compulsory liquidations.
Between 26 June 2020 and 31 March 2022, 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 procedures.
Company Insolvencies (Northern Ireland)
In March 2022, there were 20 company insolvencies in Northern Ireland, comprising of 12 CVLs, 7 compulsory liquidations and 1 administration. There were no CVAs or receiverships. The total figure here is nearly three times as many as recorded in March 2021, but was 35% lower than in March 2019.
Touching on individual insolvencies….
For UK figures, there were a total of 2,512 Debt Relief Orders (DROs) recorded in March 2022. Such statistics are 58% higher than in March 2021, and 3% higher than in March 2020. Note that as of 29 June 2021 some changes occurred to DRO eligibility which may have a part to play.
There were 633 bankruptcies for England and Wales in March 2022. The records are made up of 549 debtor applications and 84 creditor petitions. Monthly bankruptcy numbers between July 2021 and March 2022 were lower than that the year before, and pre-pandemic.
Compared to March 2021, bankruptcies were 59% lower, with debtor applications 57% lower and creditor petitions 69% lower. When looking at 2019, figures were 62% lower for total bankruptcies, 63% lower for debtor applications and 69% lower for creditor petitions.
It was also found that there were 7,136 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) registered, on average, during the three months ending March 2022. This figure is 12% higher than the three-month period ending March 2021 and 14% higher than that ending March 2019.
When looking at the figures for Northern Ireland, March 2022 saw 174 individual insolvencies. This is 5% lower than that in March 2021 and 23% lower than in March 2019. This consisted of 134 IVAs, 24 DROs and 16 bankruptcies.
Find the full publication of statistics here.