Insolvency and Other Numbers: Tuesday 20 September

Posted on Sep 20, 2022. by NTI

A member of the NTI team visited a client last week who had time to see us, despite recently spending much of it rolling up their sleeves and generally getting their finger nails dirty. The signs in our glorious profession all point towards the crashing wave of incoming jobs. We can see from enrolments on our NTIQ induction and introductory programmes and a high number of study enquiries for CII, CPI and Joint Board that the 'much-promised' is finally delvering, and the latest official numbers published by the Insolvency Service confirm this.

During an otherwise very busy weekend, the Insolvency Service published the personal and corporate insolvency stats for August 2022. The main headline caught the eye; there were 1,933 registered company insolvencies, 43 per cent higher than in August 2021 (1,348) and 42 per cent higher than the number registered pre-coronavirus pandemic levels - 1,365 in August 2019. Leading the way are 1,662 Creditors' Voluntary Liquidations; which were 33 per cent higher than in August 2021 and 73 per cent higher than August 2019 (that last number doesn't get any smaller if you read it three or more times, or cover your left eye as you do so to check if the black concentric circles are lighter or darker).

After the rigours and prohibition of CIGA, compulsory Liquidations remained lower than before the pan ... blah, blah, blah; although there were four times as many of them in August 2022 as in August 2021, and the number of Administrations was more than twice as high as a year ago.

As most of you know, Christina Fitzgerals is President of R3. She said: "the increase in numbers suggests that directors remain concerned about their ability to continue to trade in the current climate, and are choosing to close their businesses before that choice is taken away from them''. Christina is mistress of the understatement.

Moving to personal insolvency, there were 1,932 Debt Relief Orders (DROs), still glowing from their increased eligibility criteria and greater availability. There were 12 per cent more than the same month last year, but the overall number is similar to pre-pandemic August 2019. Individual Voluntary Arrangements remain at the sluggish end of a revival. There were 7,340 registered (per month) in the three-month period ending August 2022, which is 5 per cent higher than the equivalent period in 2021, and 8 per cent higher than the three-month period ending August 2019. Maybe because of the greater availability of DROs, only 565 Bankruptcies were registered in August, a number which is 10 per cent lower than in the same month in 2021, and a huge 58 per cent lower than in August 2019.

A couple of other numbers that might interest our regular followers are:

*  A circle of economists has said that a 1% reduction in income tax (a la Truss) will result in the average minimum wage earner being just 64 pence better off a month.

*  Commercial property values across the UK could fall by as much as 15 per cent by the end of next year as rising interest rates make financing deals more expensive and the risk of recession threatens to slow rental growth, Schroders’ head of UK real estate investment has warned.

And finally ... rather than offer you a story about a basket of kittens or the rescue of a panda from a washing machine in Thailand, to make you feel better as we move to our next programme, we offer you news that Mike Ashley is to step down from the board of Frasers Group, the owner of Sports Direct and other retail brands. Dear Mike, we are going to miss him.

Oh, hang on - we're over it ...

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