Concern as number of UK company liquidations rises

small businesses closing hit new high

The number of compulsory company liquidations in England and Wales rose by a staggering 53.1% during the first quarter of 2014, compared with the same period in 2013 according to new statistics.

The Official statistics released from The Insolvency Service revealed there were 1,072 compulsory liquidations between the period of January to March 2014, compared with just 700 in the third quarter of 2013. The figure represents a 10.2% increase compared to the first quarter of 2013.

In total corporate,  liquidations grew by 4.8% and 4.9% quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year respectively. This total figure also includes 2,649 Creditor’s Voluntary Liquidations (CVLs), which interestingly decreased in number by 7.1% from the previous quarter (Q4 2013: 2,852) but increased 2.9% year-on-year (Q1 2013: 2,574).

There were an additional 884 other corporate insolvency events during the fourth quarter, consisting of 537 administrations, 205 receiverships, and 142 CVAs (company voluntary arrangements). These figures represent a 2.8% decrease in insolvency procedures compared to the first quarter of 2013.

The overall percentage of active companies registered in England and Wales going into insolvency in the 12 months up to Q1 2014 was 1 in 167 (0.6%), down from 1 in 165 in the 12 months ending Q4 2013.

The Insolvency Service has also released statistics detailing insolvency levels within UK market sectors.

Labelled as “Experimental Statistics” and covering the 12 months to the end of Q1 2014, the data shows the highest level of corporate liquidations was again in the construction industry (2,665 – down 5.5% on the previous 12 months), followed by the wholesale and retail sector (2,114 – an increase of 0.6% on the previous 12 months).

The administration & support services, accommodation & food services, and manufacturing sectors were the only other industries to see over 1,000 liquidations, with 1,500, 1,341, and 1,211 liquidations respectively.




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