30 Jul 2015 10:08am

Company insolvencies fall to 2007 levels

Company insolvencies are at their lowest level since Q4 2007, according to statistics from the Insolvency Service

In total 3,908 firms became insolvent over the last three months.

The number of people being declared insolvent - 18,866 - has fallen to its lowest level for nearly a decade, which also represents a drop of 29% on this time last year.

The number of people entering into bankruptcy this quarter was 3,944, down 6.3% on Q1. It is also the lowest figure recorded since 1990, the Insolvency Service said.

Experts have warned, however, that the extent of bankruptcies, debt relief orders and individual voluntary arrangements will never truly be known in the UK.

Louise Brittain, insolvency practitioner and partner at Wilkins Kennedy, said, “Debt management plans could be hiding the true statistics relating to insolvencies, but these are not regulated in the same way.

“Without the compulsory registration of debt management plans the true extent of the burden of debt in the UK will remain unknown.”

Alan Hudson, EY head of restructuring for UK & Ireland, warned that, “It is still far from plain sailing for many businesses and management teams. A rebound doesn’t mean companies can relax and increasing business resilience remains key for all."

Phillip Sykes, president of R3, the insolvency trade body, was more optimistic. He said, “It has taken a long time, but with wages outstripping inflation again, people are finding it easier to repay their debts without resorting to insolvency procedures.”

Carl Bowles, insolvency practitioner at Carter Backer Winter, cautioned that, "The anticipated and long awaited rise in interest rates is very likely to result in a reversal of the current downward trend in both personal and corporate insolvencies. The impact of the increase in the cost of money historically takes a number of quarters to take effect, however those on the margin are likely to be unable to service their debts following a rise."

Raymond Doherty


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