The January to March 2020 (Q1) individual insolvency stats for England and Wales have been published by The Insolvency Service, together with related figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Individual insolvency statistics for England and Wales – Q1 2020
In Q1 2020, there were a total of 27,849 individual insolvencies, including:
- 16,714 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs)
- 6,875 debt relief orders (DROs)
- 4,261 bankruptcies
Total individual insolvencies in Q1 2020 decreased by 4 per cent from Q4 2019 and decreased by 11 per cent from the same quarter in the previous year.
The decrease in individual insolvencies in Q1 2020 was driven by a fall in IVAs but was partially offset by an increase in the number of bankruptcies while DROs remained flat in comparison to Q4 2019. IVAs decreased by 7 per cent, DROs increased by 0.1 per cent, and bankruptcies increased by 2.5 per cent.
However, while the statistics cover the period up to, and including, 31 March 2020, The Insolvency Service suggests that they largely predate the emergence of and response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Individuals, insolvency practitioners, intermediaries and courts may have been unable to process insolvencies in the usual manner during the latter part of March and therefore some caution needs to be applied when interpreting trends.
Individual insolvency rate England and Wales – Q1 2020
In the 12 months ending Q1 2020:
- 1 in 393 individuals became insolvent
- the individual insolvency rate was 25.4 per 10,000 adults in England and Wales
- the individual insolvency rate was down from 26.2 per 10,000 adults in the 12 months ending Q4 2019 and closer to the rate of individual insolvencies in the same quarter a year ago (25.6 per 10,000)
Unlike the absolute number of individual insolvencies over a period, the individual insolvency rate indicates the probability of a person entering insolvency in the previous four quarters. In general, periods of economic growth result in individual insolvency rates decreasing.
Individual insolvency statistics for Scotland – Q1 2020
The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland’s Insolvency Service, administers individual insolvency in Scotland. They reported that in Q1 2020:
- individual insolvencies in Scotland decreased
- there were 3,156 individual insolvencies in Scotland Q1 2020
- this was a decrease of 3.8 per cent compared to the same quarter of the previous year
Of the 3,156 total individual insolvencies in Scotland, 1,129 were sequestrations (of which 455 went into sequestration via the minimal asset process route) and 2,027 protected trust deeds.
Individual insolvency statistics for Northern Ireland – Q1 2020
In Northern Ireland in Q1 2020:
- total individual insolvencies increased in Northern Ireland
- there were 621 individual insolvencies
- this was an increase of 7.4 per cent when compared with the same quarter of the previous year
Of the 621 individual insolvencies in Q1 2020, 383 were IVAs, 129 were bankruptcies and 109 were DROs. Please note, individual insolvency in Northern Ireland is governed by separate, but broadly similar, legislation to England and Wales, and so figures are presented separately.