The Insolvency Service publish the twentieth 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 November 2021 there was a total of 1,674 registered company insolvencies across England and Wales, further broken down as follows:
- 1,521 creditors voluntary liquidations (CVLs) – double that in November 2020 and 43% higher than in November 2019
- 93 administrations – 27% higher than that in November 2020 but 48% lower than in November 2019
- 50 compulsory liquidations – 32% lower to that in November 2020 and 82% lower than November 2019 – very similar to levels in October 2021
- 10 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) – 33% lower than in November 2020 and 52% lower than in November 2019
- No receivership appointments
These figures are 88% higher than that in the same month the previous year and 11% higher than that in the same month two years before (pre-pandemic). It also shows an increase to October 2021. The overall increase in company insolvencies was thought to be due to a higher amount of CVLs.
Note: between 26 June and 30 November 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)
November 2021 saw 104 company insolvencies in Scotland – almost double that in October 2021. Figures are made of 21 compulsory liquidations, 76 CVLs and 7 administrations. There were no receiverships or CVAs. These statistics are more than twice that of November 2020 and 18% higher than that of November 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.
Company Insolvencies (Northern Ireland)
In November 2021, there were 9 company insolvencies in Northern Ireland; comprising of 6 CVLs, 2 compulsory liquidation and 1 administration. There were no CVAs or receiverships. The total figure here was 29% higher than that in November 2020, but 71% lower than in November 2019.
Touching on individual insolvencies….
For UK figures, there were a total of 2,054 Debt Relief Orders (DROs) recorded in November 2021. Such statistics are 44% higher than in November 2020, but 13% lower than in November 2019. Note that as of 29 June 2021 some changes occurred to DRO eligibility which may have a part to play.
There were 630 bankruptcies for England and Wales in November 2021. The records are made up of 552 debtor applications and 78 creditor petitions. Monthly bankruptcy numbers between July and November 2021 were lower than that the year before, and pre-pandemic.
Compared to November 2020, bankruptcies were 33% lower, with debtor applications 34% lower and creditor petitions 29% lower. When looking at 2019, figures were 54% lower for total bankruptcies, 51% 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 7,002 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) registered, on average, during the three months ending November 2021. This figure is 1% lower than the three-month period ending November 2020 but 2% higher than that ending November 2019.
When looking at the figures for Northern Ireland, November 2021 saw 193 individual insolvencies. This is more than double that in November 2020 but 32% lower than in November 2019. This consisted of 165 IVAs, 18 DROs and 10 bankruptcies.
Find the full publication of statistics here.