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Monthly UK company insolvency statistics October 2023

  • 16/11/2023
  • Paul Atkinson


Team meeting discussing company financials

The monthly report by the Insolvency Service is an invaluable resource, providing crucial information on individuals and businesses facing financial difficulties and undergoing insolvency proceedings.

Company Insolvencies

In October 2023, the number of registered company insolvencies increased by 18% to 2,315 compared to the same month in the previous year (1,954 in October 2022). This number is higher than pre-pandemic levels and those seen during the Government's COVID-19 support measures.

Of the 2,315 registered company insolvencies in October 2023:

  • There were 1,889 CVLs, which is 19% higher than in October 2022;
  • 256 were compulsory liquidations, which is 2% higher than October 2022;
  • 23 were CVAs, which is over 4 times higher than in October 2022;
  • There were 146 administrations, which is 36% higher than October 2022;
  • There was one receivership appointment.

The increase in company insolvencies was driven mostly by CVLs, while compulsory liquidation and administration numbers increased from historically low numbers seen during and immediately after the pandemic, returning to close to 2019 levels.

Figure 1: The number of registered company insolvencies in October 2023 was higher than in the same month last year, driven mostly by a higher number of CVLs.

a line graph showing the number of registered company insolvencies in October 2023

Sources: Insolvency Service (compulsory liquidations only); Companies House (all other insolvency types).

Individual Insolvencies 

In October 2023, the total number of insolvencies for individuals was 9,881, a 6% decrease from the same month in the previous year (10,528 insolvencies in October 2022).

The individual insolvencies consisted of: 

  • 703 bankruptcies
  • 3,245 debt relief orders (DROs) 
  • 5,933 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs). 

In November 2023, there were 703 bankruptcies, consisting of 553 debtor applications and 150 creditor petitions. Compared to October 2022, bankruptcies had increased by 28%, with debtor applications rising by 18% and creditor petitions surging by 90%. Although bankruptcy numbers in 2023 were higher than the same months in 2022, they remained below the levels seen before 2020.

There were 3,245 DROs in October 2023, 71% higher than in October 2022. DRO numbers were volatile in early 2023 when new DRO hubs were introduced, and they are now higher than pre-2020 levels.

There were 5,933 IVAs registered in October 2023, 27% lower than in October 2022. IVA numbers in 2023 have been lower than the record-high numbers in 2022.

In October 2023, the number of individual insolvencies was lower compared to the same month in 2022. The decrease was mainly due to a 27% decline in IVAs. In 2023, IVA numbers have been consistently lower than the record-high figures of 2022. On the other hand, the numbers of DROs and bankruptcies were higher than last year's figures. Specifically, DROs in October 2023 were 71% higher than in October 2022. However, it's worth noting that the number of bankruptcies was still below the levels before 2020.

Figure 2: IVA numbers so far in 2023 have been lower than the record-high numbers in 2022. Bankruptcy and DRO numbers were higher in October 2023 than in the same period last year.

a line chart showing the number of Individual voluntary arrangements in 2023

Source: Insolvency Service

How our UK Business Credit Report service can help

Dan Hancocks, CoCredo, MD, says: Businesses face multiple challenges in all directions. Costs are increasing, requests for higher wages are mounting, and consumers are cutting back on their spending as we approach winter, prioritising saving and ensuring they have enough for necessities. The upcoming Christmas trading period holds the potential to bring a much-needed boost to businesses' income. However, if it fails to do so, we might witness an increase in insolvencies in the new year. It's impossible to predict whether this period will be a game-changer or the final nail in the coffin for struggling firms.

“It is crucial for directors to stay vigilant and recognise the early signs of financial distress. These signs might include cash flow issues, unsold inventory, and difficulties paying rent, taxes, or suppliers. Acting on these signs as soon as possible before they worsen is essential. Acting early gives the business a better chance of success, as it can explore a broader range of potential solutions.”

Are you actively taking steps to ensure the financial stability of your business and that of your suppliers? If not, we can help! Our Company Credit Reports offer comprehensive and reliable credit information for companies operating in the UK and Ireland. Using our reports, you can make informed decisions safeguarding your business from adverse risk and achieving peace of mind. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

Stay informed about any changes in the financial condition of companies with our UK and International Monitoring service. Gain valuable insights and protect your business proactively. Our service updates you with frequent email alerts about company developments, including financial performance, payment history, county court rulings, and more. This information lets you make informed decisions and take necessary actions to safeguard your business interests.

Are you interested in trying our company's credit check service for free? Our business credit reporting services can help you minimise your credit risk and enhance your cash flow and productivity. To know more about our services, please feel free to contact us by calling 01494 790600 or emailing us. 


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