The Insolvency Service publish the eighteenth 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.
Now it is to be noted that some of these temporary measures have ended or been replaced, as of 30th September 2021. This may impact the statistics for the months to come.
Company Insolvencies (UK)
In September 2021 there was a total of 1,446 registered company insolvencies across England and Wales, further broken down as follows:
- 1,328 creditors voluntary liquidations (CVLs) – 80% higher than that in September 2019 and 21% higher than in September 2020
- 81 administrations – 26% lower to that in September 2020 and 49% lower than in September 2019
- 25 compulsory liquidations – 49% lower to that in September 2020 and 89% lower than September 2019
- 12 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) – 61% lower than in September 2020 and 45% lower than in September 2019
- No receivership appointments
These figures are 56% higher than that in the same month the previous year but 4% 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.
It is key to realise that the number of compulsory liquidations this month is the lowest level in this time series. Also, there has been an increase in the CVA mechanism, by 10, compared to the August 2021.
Note: between 26 June and 30 September 2021, fourteen 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)
September 2021 saw 70 company insolvencies in Scotland, comprising of 8 compulsory liquidations, 52 CVLs and 10 administrations. There were no receiverships or CVAs. These statistics are 63% higher to that of September 2020 but 8% lower than that of September 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 September 2021, there were 11 company insolvencies in Northern Ireland; comprising of 9 CVLs, 1 CVA and 1 administration. There were no compulsory liquidations or receiverships. The total figure here was 10% higher than that in September 2020, but 69% lower than in September 2019.
Touching on individual insolvencies….
For UK figures, there were a total of 2,150 Debt Relief Orders (DROs) recorded in September 2021 – the highest since the start of the pandemic. Such statistics are 41% higher than in September 2020, but 12% lower than in September 2019. Note that as of 29 June 2021 some changes occurred to DRO eligibility which may have a part to play.
There were 614 bankruptcies for England and Wales in September 2021, the same as noted in August 2021. The records are made up of 553 debtor applications and 61 creditor petitions. In total, for the month, it is the lowest in the series dating back to January 2019.
Compared to September 2020, bankruptcies were 42% lower, with debtor applications 43% lower and creditor petitions 34% lower. When looking at 2019, figures were 55% lower for total bankruptcies, 50% lower for debtor applications and 76% 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 6,853 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) registered, on average, during the three months ending September 2021. This figure is 48% higher than the three-month period ending September 2020 but 9% lower than that ending September 2019.
When looking at the figures for Northern Ireland, September 2021 saw 123 individual insolvencies, 14% lower than in September 2020 and 61% lower than in September 2019. This consisted of 92 IVAs, 21 DROs and 10 bankruptcies.
Find the full publication of statistics here.