The Insolvency Service publish the nineteenth 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 October 2021 there was a total of 1,405 registered company insolvencies across England and Wales, further broken down as follows:
- 1,248 creditors voluntary liquidations (CVLs) – 85% higher than that in October 2020 and 19% higher than in October 2019
- 95 administrations – 8% lower to that in October 2020 and 40% lower than in October 2019
- 46 compulsory liquidations – 31% lower to that in October 2020 and 81% lower than October 2019
- 16 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) – 24% lower than in October 2020 and 56% lower than in October 2019
- No receivership appointments
These figures are 63% higher than that in the same month the previous year but 5% lower than that in the same month two years before (pre-pandemic). The overall increase in company insolvencies was thought to be due to a higher amount of CVLs.
Note: between 26 June and 31 October 2021, fifteen companies were granted a moratorium and nine had restructuring plans sanctioned by the court. These procedures were created by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.
Company Insolvencies (Scotland)
October 2021 saw 68 company insolvencies in Scotland, similar to that in September 2021. Figures are made of 12 compulsory liquidations, 54 CVLs and 2 administrations. There were no receiverships or CVAs. These statistics are 58% higher to that of October 2020 but 18% lower than that of October 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 October 2021, there were 14 company insolvencies in Northern Ireland; comprising of 12 CVLs, 1 compulsory liquidation and 1 administration. There were no CVAs or receiverships. The total figure here was 75% higher than that in October 2020, but 73% lower than in October 2019.
Touching on individual insolvencies….
For UK figures, there were a total of 1,937 Debt Relief Orders (DROs) recorded in October 2021 – quite a drop compared to September 2021. Such statistics are 23% higher than in October 2020, but 23% lower than in October 2019. Note that as of 29 June 2021 some changes occurred to DRO eligibility which may have a part to play.
There were 601 bankruptcies for England and Wales in October 2021. The records are made up of 518 debtor applications and 83 creditor petitions. In total, for the month, it is the lowest in the series dating back to January 2019 – being even lower than that in September 2021 which was thought to be the lowest!
Compared to October 2020, bankruptcies were 44% lower, with debtor applications 47% lower and creditor petitions 22% lower. When looking at 2019, figures were 57% lower for total bankruptcies, 56% lower for debtor applications and 65% 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 7,031 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) registered, on average, during the three months ending October 2021. This figure is 14% higher than the three-month period ending October 2020 and 4% higher than that ending October 2019. The figures here are also higher than recorded in September 2021.
When looking at the figures for Northern Ireland, October 2021 saw 102 individual insolvencies, 11% lower than in October 2020 and 56% lower than in October 2019. This consisted of 95 IVAs, 4 DROs and 3 bankruptcies.
Find the full publication of statistics here.