Insolvency Figures For Last Quarter Of 2017

Published 12 January 2018


Statistics for corporate and personal insolvencies for England & Wales for the last quarter of 2017 were released last Friday 26 January 2018.

In summary, the underlying number of company insolvencies increased in 2017 by 2.5% compared with 2016 following the upward trend seen since the start of 2015.  This increase excludes two “bulk insolvency” events of 2,131 connected companies entering creditors’ voluntary liquidation during 2017, following changes to claimable expenses rules.  Excluding these two events, corporate insolvencies fell by 17.2% in Q4, compared to Q3 2017 and by 11% compared to Q4 2016.

Personal insolvencies increased for the second year in a row and are now back to levels seen in 2013 and 2014.  The increase has been driven by further increases in the number of individuals applying for individual voluntary arrangements which have now reached the highest recorded annual total at 59,220.

The Carillion failure is of course sitting heavy on many peoples’ minds and it is probable that when the figures for the first quarter of this year and beyond are formulated, the knock on effect on the Carillion supply chain will be evident.  At Cranfield we have already received a number of telephone calls from businesses concerned about their own cash flow situation having been got caught up in the Carillion liquidation.

Please note that the table below includes the two CVL bulk events in the Corporate - Total Companies and Company Liquidations figures. 

  No. in quarter % change on previous quarter % change on same period last year
Corporate - Total Companies 4,382 7.30 -21.70
Company Liquidations 613 -8.10 -24.30
Receiverships 0 0.00 0.00
Administrations 300 -4.70 -14.20
Company Voluntary Arrangements 56 -24.30 0.00
Personal - Total Individuals 25,401 -0.20 10.40
Bankruptcies 3,736 0.60 -2.40
Individual Voluntary Arrangements 15,311 -0.90 18.40
Debt Relief Orders 6,355 1.30 1.80

Source: Insolvency Service and Companies House


Key Findings for Q4 2017

Over all types of company, insolvency numbers (using the underlying CVLs figures), were down in Quarter 4, compared with Quarter 3, 2017, with company voluntary liquidations showing the largest fall for the quarter.

The underlying increase in total company insolvencies for 2017, compared to 2016, was 2.5%, with only creditor voluntary liquidations showing an increase for the year.  Administrations were down 6.2% and company voluntary arrangements down by 15.6% compared with 2016.

The 17,243 year-on-year (underlying 15,112) companies that entered insolvency in 2017 represents 0.47% of registered active companies, the same level as 2016.

We believe the fall in the annual number of administrations reflects the strong showing of the UK economy, driven by exports benefitting from the worldwide economic growth.


Source: Insolvency Service and Companies House (numbers in '000s)


Key Findings for Q4 2017

The number of people who became insolvent in England and Wales in 2017 was 99,196 as can be seen in the above table. 

Looking at the Q4 2017 figures, personal insolvencies were actually down compared with the previous quarter as can be seen from the table below but had risen by 10.4% compared with Q4 of the previous year.  This has once again been due to an overall increase this year in IVAs, up by 18.4% compared to 2016.  With 15,311 IVAs in Q4, 2017 the annual total has reached its highest recorded annual level as shown below.

Source: Insolvency Service and Companies House