This statistics release contains the latest data on company insolvency (companies which are unable to pay debts and enter liquidation, or enter administration or other company rescue process) and individual insolvency (people who are unable to pay debts and enter formal procedures).
Statistics are presented separately for England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland because of differences in legislation and policy.
Companies in 2017
- The underlying number of company insolvencies increased in 2017, driven by a rise in creditors’ voluntary liquidations.
- All other types of company insolvency decreased compared with 2016.
People in 2017
- Total insolvencies rose for the second consecutive year, returning to the levels seen in 2013 and 2014.
- This increase was driven by individual voluntary arrangements, which reached the highest recorded annual total.
Latest quarter (Q4 2017)
- Company insolvencies increased because of a bulk insolvency event, but the underlying number of company insolvencies decreased.
- Individual insolvencies remained stable compared with the previous quarter.
Advance notice of change of methods
In accordance with our revisions policy, we are pre-announcing a planned change to the method used to calculate the number of company insolvencies each quarter.
Currently, company insolvencies are counted from the date the insolvency started, with statistics for the most recent quarter being an estimate based on incomplete data. Recent instances of bulk insolvencies of connected companies have had an impact on the quality of these initial estimates.
To address this, from April 2018, most company insolvencies will be counted from the date of registration. This means that statistics will no longer be estimated and then revised between quarters, and we will be able more readily to identify and account for bulk insolvencies.
Further information about this change is available on our website.
If you have comments or feedback regarding this change, please contact the Insolvency Service’s statistics team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org