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I am pleased to report that the Insolvency Service has continued to deliver against its published targets across a wide range of activities. Our work has taken place against a backdrop of uncertainty as markets react to events in Europe and further afield.
Closer to home the year has been marked by a higher than expected number of bankruptcy cases, which may in part be attributable to our new online bankruptcy service. Early feedback suggests that we have been successful in our aim of increasing access for those who are urgently in need of a debt solution.
I was also pleased with the positive reaction to our bankruptcy mythbusting campaign aimed at tackling some of those misconceptions about the bankruptcy which stigmatise what can often be the most suitable debt release method.
Our ability to target and tackle financial wrongdoing has been enhanced this year, as we have welcomed colleagues responsible for criminal enforcement into our business. The move will bring increased efficiency into the process for bringing wrongdoers to justice.
I have also been delighted to see the progress made in getting money to redundancy payment claimants so quickly, with targets of making payments within three weeks exceeded this year.
We have numerous other successes to report, including an award for Insolvency Team of the Year for the staff dealing with the SSI insolvency; and although we will doubtless face fresh challenges in the year to come, I am confident we are well placed to meet them.
Year in review
New online bankruptcy application service launched
New online Director Conduct Reporting tool launched
Published consultation on ways to improve the corporate insolvency framework
Three companies that marketed fake gold mining scam wound up
Our Redundancy Payments team starts processing redundancy claims for BHS employees
Our Investigations and Enforcement services take a stand at the Trading Standards Institute conference
Held our first Insolvency Live event with stakeholders across the insolvency space
Currency and tax fraudster banned for 15 years
Hertfordshire and Lincolnshire landbanking scam wound up following our investigation
Eight restaurant directors banned for attempting to avoid paying fines for employing illegal workers
Launched our new Debt Relief Order service (DRO2)
Harrogate care home directors banned for stealing money from residents
Modernised Insolvency rules published
Received TRI award for our management of the SSI Steel liquidation
Bankruptcy Mythbusting: guidance on what happens after you’re made bankrupt published
Bogus Birmingham health supplement company shut down
13-year ban for Basingstoke man who fraudulently sold coloured diamonds at vastly inflated prices
Celebrated our inspiring colleagues who make a difference at our annual GEM awards
Credit, debt and insolvency specialist Stephen Allinson appointed Chairman of the Insolvency Service Board
Bankruptcy Mythbusting: guidance on what happens to your belongings published
Maximum 15-year ban for two directors of £1m carbon credit scam
Bankruptcy Mythbusting: guidance on what happens to your vehicle published
Bankruptcy Mythbusting: guidance on what will happened to your job published
Nine-year ban for Swansea director of PPI claims management business for breaching compensation regulations.
Delivering economic confidence
Supporting Those in Financial Distress
In 2016-17 the Adjudicator made 11,332 bankruptcy orders. 4,020 were made by the
courts, bringing the total number of bankruptcies to 15,352. This is a 0.9% increase upon
the previous year.
Thank you for being here to help provide this service for people like myself who are in financial hardship. I am so much happier being able to go ahead and complete this form knowing my needs are being looked after and taken care of, and not to mention the relief I feel
Our customer research tells us that people continue to hold misconceptions about bankruptcy and are concerned about the stigma surrounding it. This prevents them from considering bankruptcy as a debt relief option, even when it may be the most suitable solution for their circumstances.
In October 2016 we launched a new mythbusting web page addressing the 12 most common concerns and misconceptions surrounding bankruptcy. We worked with the debt advice sector to produce factual and accessible materials to improve understanding about bankruptcy and highlight our role as a source of information about debt solutions.
In 2016-17 we disqualified 1214 directors in total and made 430 referrals to prosecuting authorities where we had discovered possible criminal conduct.
Investigation of 78 investment and other scams wound up in the public interest showed that over £121 million had been taken from victims but our interventions prevented the loss of a further £78 million.
Maximising Returns to Creditors
Acting as trustee and liquidator, the Insolvency Service has distributed over £46m to creditors this year in dividend payments.
It is estimated that £22m has been saved from modernised insolvency rules
Engagement Score 59% (Up 8% from last year)
We believe the engagement champions contributed to this result.
Annual People Survey 89% response rate
This high response rate allows us to be confident in the results so we can celebrate our successes and identify where to improve.
We achieved the highest improvement in the civil service placing us 3rd Joint and our engagement questions scored 75%, 5 points higher than the previous survey.