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 Policy Directorate: Statistics
 

Reference  INS/Com/18
Date  1 August
2008

 

STATISTICS RELEASE: INSOLVENCIES IN THE SECOND QUARTER 2008

Statistics showing insolvencies in the first quarter 2008 are published today (1 August) by the Insolvency Service.

COMPANY INSOLVE NCIES
(Trends based on recent quarters’ data for all corporate insolvency procedures, except compulsory liquidations, have been affected by revisions received from Companies House to the 2007 and 2008 Q1 figures.)  

There were 3,560 compulsory liquidations and creditor’s voluntary liquidations (CVLs) in total in England and Wales in the second quarter of 2008 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This was an increase of 11.6% on the previous quarter and an increase of 15.0% on the same period a year ago. 

This was made up of 1,324 compulsory liquidations, an increase of 19.8% on the previous quarter but a decrease of 0.7% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year, and 2,236 CVLs, an increase of 7.3% on the previous quarter and an increase of 27.0% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

In the twelve months ending Q2 2008, 0.6% of active companies went into liquidation, the same as the previous quarter and the corresponding quarter of 2007.

Number of Company Liquidations in England and Wales (seasonally adjusted) 1,2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage change

 

 

2007

2007

2007

2008

2008

Q2  2008 on:

 

 

Q2r

Q3r

Q4r

Q1r

Q2p

Q1 2008

Q2 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Company Liquidations

3,095

3,167

3,039

3,189

3,560

11.6

15.0

of which:

Compulsory

1,334

1,277

1,162

1,106

1,324

19.8

-0.7

 

Creditors Voluntary 3

1,760

1,890

1,877

2,084

2,236

7.3

27.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Insolvency Service and Companies House

p = provisional,  r = revised

1 Longer series back to 1998 are presented in the accompanying detailed tables.

2 Trends for CVLs reflect revisions to figures for 2007 and Q1 2008 by Companies House.

3 Where the CVL is the first insolvency procedure entered into (see Notes to Editors).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally, there were 1,246 other corporate insolvencies in the second quarter of 2008, comprising 177 receiverships, 938 administrations and 131 company voluntary arrangements (not seasonally adjusted). In total these represented an increase of 7.6% on the previous quarter and an increase of 63.1% on the same period a year ago. 

It should be noted that these figures are not seasonally adjusted and are not, therefore, on the same basis as the headline liquidation figures above. The accompanying detailed tables also include the non-seasonally adjusted series for corporate liquidations.

 

Other corporate insolvencies in England and Wales (not seasonally adjusted) 1,2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage change

 

2007

2007

2007

2008

2008

Q2  2008 on:

 

Q2r

Q3r

Q4r

Q1r

Q2p

Q1 2008

Q2 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Receiverships

77

80

92

159

177

11.3

129.9

Administrations 3

585

668

575

859

938

9.2

60.3

Company voluntary

   arrangements

102

129

91

140

131

-6.4

28.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Companies House

p = provisional,  r = revised

1 Longer series back to 1998 are presented in the accompanying detailed tables.

2 Trends reflect revisions to figures for 2007 and Q1 2008 by Companies House.

3 Including Administrator Appointments.

 

INDIVIDUAL INSOLVENCIES 

There were 24,553 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in the second quarter of 2008 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This was a decrease of 2.0% on the previous quarter and a decrease of 8.3% on the same period a year ago. 

This was made up of 15,297 bankruptcies, a decrease of 1.3% on the previous quarter and a decrease of 5.7% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year, and 9,256 Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), a decrease of 3.2% on the previous quarter and a decrease of 12.4% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

For bankruptcy orders there has been a pronounced shift towards debtor’s petition bankruptcies and away from creditor’s petitions in recent years.  By the second quarter of 2008, 84% were made on the petition of the debtor.   

The percentage of bankruptcy orders involving trading debts (self-employed bankruptcies) has fallen from 61% in 1995 to 12.1% in the first quarter of 2008 (second quarter 2008 figures for trading-related bankruptcies are not yet available). It should be noted, however, that figures for 2007 onwards are based on a revised classification and are not entirely consistent with earlier years figures.

 

Number of individual insolvencies in England and Wales (seasonally adjusted) 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage change

 

 

2007

2007

2007

2008

2008

Q2  2008 on:

 

 

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1r

Q2p

Q1 2008

Q2 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Individuals

 

26,774

25,900

24,854

25,054

24,553

-2.0

-8.3

of which:

Bankruptcies

16,214

15,842

15,636

15,492

15,297

-1.3

-5.7

 

IVAs

10,561

10,058

9,218

9,562

9,256

-3.2

-12.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Insolvency Service

p = provisional,  r = revised

1 Longer series back to 1998 are presented in the accompanying detailed tables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INSOLVENCIES IN SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND 

The following tables present recent trends in insolvencies in Scotland and Northern Ireland, complementing those for England and Wales above (longer series back to 1998 are presented in the accompanying detailed tables).

Number of Insolvencies in Scotland (not seasonally adjusted)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage change

 

 

2007

2007

2007

2008

2008

Q2  2008 on:

 

 

Q2r

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2p

Q1 2008

Q2 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Company Liquidations

165

125

83

102

132

29.4

-20.0

of which:

Compulsory

131

105

71

95

111

16.8

-15.3

 

Creditors Voluntary

34

20

12

7

21

200.0

-38.2

Individuals1

 

3,492

3,527

3,318

3,275

4,735

44.6

35.6

of which:

Sequestrations1

1,600

1,545

1,563

1,395

2,853

104.5

78.3

 

Protected Trust Deeds

1,892

1,982

1,755

1,880

1,882

0.1

-0.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Companies House (Scotland) and Accountant in Bankruptcy.

p = provisional, r = revised 1 The sequestration figure for 2008 Q2 includes 1,709 LILA (Low Income, Low Assets) cases, introduced as a new route into bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc (Scotland) Act 2007, wef 1 April 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Insolvencies in Northern Ireland (not seasonally adjusted)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage change

 

 

2007

2007

2007

2008

2008

Q2  2008 on:

 

 

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2p

Q1 2008

Q2 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Company Liquidations

38

42

48

42

57

35.7

50.0

of which:

Compulsory

29

28

36

37

42

13.5

44.8

 

Creditors Voluntary

9

14

12

5

15

200.0

66.7

Individuals

 

338

338

319

330

479

45.2

41.7

of which:

Bankruptcies

228

227

225

226

331

46.5

45.2

 

IVAs

110

111

94

104

148

42.3

34.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Northern Ireland

p = provisional, r = revised

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes to Editors 

1. The official Insolvency Statistics are the most comprehensive record of the number of corporate and individual insolvencies in England and Wales. Insolvencies in Scotland and Northern Ireland are also included, but are shown separately as they are covered by separate legislation, there are some differences in definition, and policy responsibility for them lies within the devolved administrations. 

2. The statistics for England and Wales are derived from administrative records of the department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BIS), Insolvency Service and Companies House Executive Agencies. For Scotland, the company insolvency statistics are derived from administrative records at Companies House, Scotland. Figures for individual insolvencies in Scotland are sourced from the Office of the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AIB). The Northern Ireland statistics are derived from administrative records of the DETI Insolvency Service and Companies Registry.

3. Numbers of insolvencies are not directly comparable with official estimates of business stock, formations or closures. Statistics of business start-ups and closures that are directly comparable with each other have been assembled from VAT records and are published by BIS. The latest figures are those for 2006, and were issued in a BIS press notice on 22 August 2007. More detailed figures are available via the on-line database NOMIS. Additionally, analysis into the number of firms in the United Kingdom estimated the total number of businesses at the start of 2006 at 4.5 million. 

4. The X12ARIMA program (developed by Statistics Canada) is used for the seasonal adjustment of the insolvency statistics for England and Wales, this being the recommended program within UK National Statistics.  Seasonal adjustment is a process by which changes that are due to seasonal or other calendar influences are removed to produce a clearer picture of the underlying behaviour of the data series.  The data series covering Scotland and Northern Ireland do not demonstrate consistent seasonality and only the raw (unadjusted) series are presented.  

5. Insolvent companies entering liquidation in England & Wales and Scotland are dealt with under the Insolvency Act of 1986 and, in Northern Ireland, by the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989. They can either be the subject of a compulsory liquidation (winding-up) order obtained from the court by a creditor, shareholder or director or themselves pass a resolution, subject to the approval of a creditors' meeting that the company be wound up voluntarily (creditors voluntary liquidations, registered at Companies House/Companies Registry). In either case they are said to have been wound-up, and numbers are given in Tables 1, 4 and 6. A third type of winding-up, members' voluntary liquidation, is not included because it does not involve insolvency. 

6. The Insolvency Act 1986 and, in Northern Ireland, the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 also introduced the procedures of company administration orders and company voluntary arrangements (CVAs). The administration procedure gives a period of time during which creditors are restrained from taking action and a court appointed administrator puts forward proposals to deal with the company’s financial difficulties. The CVA procedure aids business by enabling a company in financial difficulty to come to a binding agreement with its creditors. These are listed separately under Table 3 for England and Wales and Table 5 for Scotland. 

7. The Enterprise Act 2002 introduced revisions to the corporate administration procedures, replacing Part II of the Insolvency Act 1986 with Schedule B1. These include the introduction of additional entry routes into administration that do not require the making of an administration order and a streamlined process for Administrations whereby a company can in some circumstances be dissolved without recourse to liquidation. The primary objective of administration (and of CVAs) is the rescue of the company as a going concern. These provisions came into force on 15th September 2003 and Administrations under the Enterprise Act have been included on Tables 3 and 5 from Q3 2003 (dissolution follows 3 months after a notice is filed with the Registrar of Companies, if no objections are raised by the court). On 27th March 2006 the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 introduced similar revisions to the corporate administration procedures in Northern Ireland, replacing Part III of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 with Schedule B1. 

8. Since the Enterprise Act 2002, a number of these streamlined administrations have subsequently converted to a creditors’ voluntary liquidation. These liquidations in England and Wales are not included under the headline figures here or at Table 1, as they do not represent a new company entering into an insolvency procedure for the first time. For completeness, however, they are included under Table 3d. It is also possible for the outcome of an administration to be entry into a company voluntary arrangement or a compulsory liquidation, but these cases are not separately identifiable from Companies House’ information and will therefore be included within the new case figures for these procedures (the numbers involved are relatively few, compared to those entering CVL). 

9. Receivership appointments comprise administrative receivers appointed under the 1986 Act (and the 1989 Order for Northern Ireland) and certain other receivership appointments, for example under the Law of Property Act 1925. Due to the use of the same statutory documentation for different types of receivership, it is not possible to give a breakdown between them. The provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 [section 250] (Insolvency [Northern Ireland] Order 2005 [Article 5]) have made some changes to the procedures for administrative receivership. 

10. Figures sourced from Companies House (E&W) have been revised (where appropriate) between 2007 Q1 and 2008 Q1. This reflects inaccuracies identified in the counting of cases during validation following the move to a new IT system in February 2008. The most noticeable revisions are to receiverships (where some companies had been counted more than once); the rest of this series prior to 2007 is not yet available on a revised basis. However, it should also be noted that because the revised counts have been run against a live database, they will not exactly reflect the true, original numbers of new cases that would have been reported. 

11. Individual insolvencies in England and Wales and in Northern Ireland are made up of bankruptcy orders and individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs). Insolvent individuals in England and Wales are dealt with mainly under the Insolvency Act 1986. A bankruptcy order is made on the petition of the debtor or one or more of his creditors when the court is satisfied that there is no prospect of the debt being paid. (Figures for bankruptcy orders include orders relating to the estates of deceased debtors). There are also individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) and deeds of arrangement (the latter under the Deeds of Arrangement Act 1914), which enable debtors to come to an agreement with their creditors. Table 2 summarises the above procedures for England and Wales (IVAs and Deeds of Arrangement are included under a single column) and Table 2a provides bankruptcy orders further split by petition type. Changes to bankruptcy law in England and Wales introduced by the Enterprise Act 2002 came into force on 1 April 2004 – the Act made no changes to the existing individual voluntary arrangement regime. 

12. Table 2b records numbers of Income Payments Orders (IPOs) and Income Payments Agreements (IPAs) where the bankrupt makes regular payments from surplus income towards his/her debts for a period of time, either by court order or by agreement. The figures record numbers of IPOs/IPAs made in each period, they do not, in general, relate to the date of the original bankruptcy order. Table 2b records a number of IPAs before Q2 2004 because the IPA provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 (commenced on 1 April 2004) were applicable, upon commencement, to pre-commencement bankruptcies

13. Insolvent individuals in Scotland (Table 4) are subject to sequestration (bankruptcy) or protected trust deeds under the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985 (as amended). This Act was amended by the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1993. On April 1, 2008 the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc. (Scotland) Act 2007 came into force making significant changes to some aspects of bankruptcy, debt relief and debt enforcement in Scotland. Most notably, as far as these statistics are concerned, it introduced a new route into bankruptcy for people with low income and low assets (LILA). The sequestration figures for Q2 2008 onwards include these new LILA cases; therefore trends in numbers of sequestrations before and after this date should be interpreted with care. Protected trust deeds are voluntary arrangements in Scotland, but although they fulfil much the same role as individual voluntary arrangements, there are important differences in the way they are set up and administered. Details of both sequestrations and protected trust deeds are found on the register of insolvencies, which is maintained by the Accountant in Bankruptcy. Further information about insolvency in Scotland can be found on the Accountant's website at www.aib.gov.uk. It should also be noted that from April 2008, personal insolvency statistics have been extracted from information published on the AIB website; whereas previously it was supplied on request, tailored to our publication requirements. 

14. Insolvent individuals in Northern Ireland are dealt with under the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 and are recorded under Table 6. On 27 March 2006 the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 came into operation and implemented similar changes to bankruptcy procedures as the Enterprise Act 2002 introduced in England and Wales. Further information about insolvency in Northern Ireland can be found on their website at www.insolvencyservice.detini.gov.uk

15. Under the Insolvency Act 1986 and the Insolvent Partnerships Order and, in Northern Ireland, the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 and the Insolvent Partnerships Order (Northern Ireland) 1995, insolvent partnerships may be wound up as an unregistered company or administered following bankruptcy orders against the partners. Insolvent Partnerships can also enter administration or a voluntary arrangement. 

16. Company insolvencies and bankruptcy orders (relating to the self-employed) in England and Wales broken down by industry are now available according to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 2003, bringing them into line with other official statistics.  Industry breakdowns for compulsory liquidations and bankruptcies (only) are only available one quarter in arrears of the headline series. Figures according to the previously used Insolvency Trade Classification (ITC) are available up to Q3 2006, but information by industry is not available for the period between Q4 2006 to Q2 2007 (inclusive) on either classification. Additionally, the broad split of bankruptcy orders into self-employed and other individuals is available under Table 2a. 

17. Company liquidations in Scotland are available from Q1 2007 based on the SIC2003 industry breakdown and these can be found in Tables 4a and 4b. Earlier data are available separately classified according to the Insolvency Trade Classification (ITC). 

18.    Information concerning insolvency legislation, policy evaluation and in England and Wales may be obtained from the Insolvency Service website at www.insolvency.gov.uk.

National Statistics

National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

You can find a range of National Statistics on the Internet – www.statistics.gov.uk

 

Press Enquiries: Lorna Dennis
Insolvency Service Press Officer
Tel: +44 (0)20 7637 6279
Fax: +44 (0)20 7291 6731

Non Media Enquiries
Policy Directorate : Statistics

Gary Mills +44 (0)20 7637 6504

Martin Kenchatt +44 (0)20 7637 6443

E-Mail:

gary.mills@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk

martin.kenchatt@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk
margaret.sims@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk

Internet:
http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/otherinformation/statistics/insolv.htm
Out of hours cover
Public Enquiries +44 (0)20 7215 5000
Textphone +44 (0)20 7215 6740 (for those with hearing impairment)

 
  
Tables
1 Company liquidations in England & Wales
1a Compulsory liquidations by industry in England & Wales
1b Creditors' Voluntary Liquidations by industry in England & Wales
2 Individual insolvencies in England & Wales
2a Bankruptcy orders by petition type and trading status in England & Wales
2b Income payments in England & Wales
2c Trading-related bankruptcies by industry in England & Wales
3 Receiverships, Administrations and Company Voluntary Arrangements in England & Wales
3a Receiverships by industry in England & Wales
3b Administrations (Enterprise Act) by industry in England & Wales
3c Company voluntary arrangements by industry in England & Wales
3d Creditors' Voluntary Liquidations following Administration in England & Wales
4 Insolvencies in Scotland
4a Compulsory liquidations by industry in Scotland
4b Creditors' voluntary liquidations by industry in Scotland
5 Receiverships, Administrations and Company Voluntary in Scotland
6 Insolvencies in Northern Ireland
7 Rate of company liquidations

 

Download all tables in Excel (190Kb) 
Download the press notice (no tables) as a PDF file (47Kb)
Download the press notice with tables as a PDF file (74Kb)
Download the tables only as a PDF file (34Kb)


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