The number of company insolvencies in September 2023 was 17% higher than the same month last year, according to official data published by The Insolvency Service today.
It also said the number of Breathing Space registrations, which give people with problem debt legal protections from creditor action for up to 60 days, rose by 25% compared to September last year.
The Insolvency Service said that, of the 1,967 registered company insolvencies in September 2023, there were 1,576 CVLs, which is 14% higher than in September 2022; 255 were compulsory liquidations, which is 19% higher than September 2022; 11 were CVAs, which is the same as in September 2022; and 125 were administrations, which is 47% higher than September 2022.
Meanwhile, in September 2023 there were 7,691 Breathing Space registrations, 25% higher than the number in September 2022. Of these, 7,574 were Standard Breathing Space registrations, which is 24% higher than the number in September 2022. There were 117 Mental Health Breathing Space registrations, which is 27% higher than the number in September 2022.
Standard Breathing Space registrations are available to anyone with problem debt and give them legal protections from creditor action for up to 60 days. The protections include pausing most enforcement action and contact from creditors and freezing most interest and charges on their debts. A mental health crisis breathing space is only available to someone who is receiving mental health crisis treatment and it has some stronger protections.
The Insolvency Service also said there were 2,913 DROs in September 2023, 61% higher than September 2022; 7,271 insolvencies, 27% lower than in the same month in the previous year; 3,687 IVAs registered in September 2023, 52% lower than September 2022; and 671 bankruptcies in September 2023 in England & Wales. The bankruptcies were made up of 493 debtor applications and 178 creditor petitions. Bankruptcies were 22% higher than in September 2022. Debtor applications were 14% higher and creditor petitions 53% higher than in September 2022.
Reflecting on the data, Marcus Wright, managing director at Bolton Business Finance, said: “The latest insolvency data is not surprising after the toughest three years ever for UK businesses. First Covid hit, leaving SMEs with large amounts of debt and then inflation massively increased supplier costs and saw consumer demand drop. We are seeing more struggling businesses looking for finance but some are simply not viable anymore.”