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Monthly UK company insolvency statistics February 2023

  • 21/03/2023
  • Paul Atkinson


business woman using calculator looking at monthly budget figures on laptp

The Insolvency Service has published its latest statistics revealing there were 1,783 registered company insolvencies, In England and Wales in February 2023, broken down as follows:

  • 17% higher than in the same month in the previous year (1,518 in February 2022), and
  • 33% higher than the number registered three years previously (pre-pandemic; 1,345 in February 2020).
  • There were 1,505 CVLs, which is 13% higher than in February 2022 and 59% higher than in February 2020;
  • 158 were compulsory liquidations, more than double the number in February 2022 but 32% lower than in February 2020;
  • 12 were CVAs, four times higher than in February 2022 but 37% lower than in February 2020;
  • There were 108 administrations, which is similar to February 2022, but 27% lower than February 2020;
  • There were no receivership appointments.

In February 2023, there were 158 forced liquidations, which is 32% less than in February 2020 but more than twice as many as in February 2022. Because of the increasing winding-up petitions filed by HMRC, the number of forced liquidations has climbed from the historical lows experienced during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Creditors' Voluntary Liquidations (CVLs) in February 2023 were 1,505, 59%, and 13% more than in February 2020 and February 2022, respectively. Compared to before the pandemic, fewer company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) and administrations were formed.

Figure 1: The number of registered company insolvencies in February 2023 was higher than in the same month last year, driven by higher numbers of CVLs and compulsory liquidations.

The number of registered company insolvencies in February 2023 in a line graphSources: Insolvency Service (compulsory liquidations only); Companies House (all other insolvency types)

Bankruptcies and Debt Relief Orders

There were 580 personal bankruptcies, 63% and 3% less than in February 2020 and February 2022, respectively.

In February 2023, there were 2,083 Debt Relief Orders (DROs), 13% less than the pre-pandemic comparative month and 7% less than February 2022. (February 2020).

The three months ending in February 2023 saw an average of 5,627 Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) recorded each month, which is 12% less than the three months ending in February 2022 but equal to the three months ending in February 2020.

Figure 2: After a revision in eligibility requirements in June 2021, DRO numbers rose, but they have since stabilised below pre-pandemic levels. The number of bankruptcies has been below both pre-pandemic and 2020 norms. IVA figures in 2022 were higher than in earlier years.

IVA, DRO and bankruptcies in February 2023 shown in a line graph

Source: Insolvency Service

Compared to pre-pandemic levels, the total number of company and individual insolvencies was low from the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic until mid-2021, partly due to government initiatives to assist businesses and people during this period.

The number of bankruptcies and debt relief orders for businesses has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels, but these statistics are still lower for individuals.

How CoCredo UK Credit Reference Agency can assist

Dan Hancocks, CEO of CoCredo, says: “Many businesses in England and Wales are still dealing with challenges in the marketplace, and the regular Christmas and New Year shopping season did not provide them the bounce they may have been hoping for.

Families are still cautious about spending money on anything but basics since they worry about money and the economy. At the same time, labour costs and the cost of keeping the lights on give business owners sleepless nights. 

SMEs need to stay alert and keep a watchful eye and be able to respond to any early warning signs that their business is in trouble and seek assistance. A company could be in crisis if it experiences cash flow issues, payment delays, and rising stock levels; the sooner directors seek help, the more options they have to address their problems."

Our UK and International Monitoring service allows you to continuously track any changes and gain insightful knowledge of a company's financial performance, enabling you to take proactive action when necessary to safeguard your own business. For 12 months, you will receive regular email notifications of any business changes (such as financial performance, payment history, county court judgements, etc.) from the service.

Why not benefit from a free trial of a business credit report? For more information about our company credit check services, which will lower your credit risk and improve your cash flow and productivity, call us at 01494 790600 or email us.


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