Insolvency Stats: March 2024

Posted on Apr 29, 2024. by NTI

These sets of stats are the first in which the monthly and quarterly insolvency statistics have been merged, while retaining the monthly frequency.  As a result, the new monthly publications will contain some additional information that was previously only released quarterly.

We begin this month’s statistics with a look at the personal insolvency numbers.  After seasonal adjustment, 8,708 individuals entered insolvency in England & Wales in March 2024. This was 19% lower than in February 2024 and 9% lower than in March 2023.  When making a comparison to February, it should be borne in mind this month contained a “larger than usual number of late IVA registrations in February 2024”.  The number of individual insolvencies in March 2024 was 2% higher than in January 2024.

The individual insolvencies consisted of 681 Bankruptcies, 2,628 debt relief orders (DROs) and 5,399 IVAs. DRO numbers were slightly lower than the record high monthly numbers seen in the second half of 2023, but remained high compared to historical levels.  This may be because Jeremy Hunt announced at the budget (6 March) the scrapping of the £90 fee for DROs, which took effect on 6 April.  Will we see a rise in April as a result of individuals delaying their application?

The number of Bankruptcies was similar to the past nine months and slightly higher than in March 2023. However, Bankruptcy numbers remained at about half of pre-2020 levels.  In the 12 months ending 31 March 2024, one in 470 adults in England & Wales entered insolvency (a rate of 21.3 per 10,000 adults). This is lower than the individual insolvency rate of 24.3 per 10,000 adults (1 in 412) who entered insolvency in the 12 months ending 31 March 2023.  There were 7,710 Breathing Space registrations in March 2024. This is 7% lower than in March 2023.

Turning to corporate now, the number of registered company insolvencies in England and Wales in March 2024 was 1,815, 17% lower than in February 2024 (2,177) and 17% lower than the same month in the previous year (2,193).

The breakdown was dominated as usual by CVLs (1,437), followed by 261 Compulsory Liquidations, 108 Administrations and 9 CVAs.  All of these figures were lower than in both March 2023 and February 2024.

One in 179 companies on the Companies House effective register (at a rate of 55.8 per 10,000 companies) entered insolvency between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024. This was an increase from the 53.5 per 10,000 companies that entered insolvency in the 12 months ending 31 March 2023. While the insolvency rate has increased since the lows seen in 2020 and 2021, it remains much lower than the peak of 113.1 per 10,000 companies seen during the 2008-09 recession. This is because the number of companies on the register has more than doubled over this period.

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