Company insolvencies are rising

  • 21st June 2022

Although showing a small improvement from March, the amount of company insolvencies in April of this year was more than double the number from April 2021. This shows just how important it is to get professional advice sooner rather than later if your company is experiencing difficulties.

The majority of insolvencies were creditors’ voluntary liquidations (CVLs):

Total insolvencies

CVLs

April 2019

1,429

1,024

April 2020

1,199

933

April 2021

925

815

April 2022

1,991

1,777

Figures available for May show no signs of improvement. The government’s support measures kept insolvencies at bay during the Coronavirus pandemic, but the expected post-pandemic boom has not materialised for many businesses, followed instead by other negative economic factors such as high inflation, the Ukraine war and supply chain challenges due to continuing Chinese lockdowns.

The insolvency figures point to many directors lacking confidence in their company’s ability to continue trading in the current climate, possibly pre-empting later forced closures by bringing forward difficult decisions. Business owners and directors who have any doubts about their business are advised to seek professional advice as soon as possible. There are two tests which can act as a warning sign of insolvency:

  • Cash flow test: Signs that a company is failing this test include late payment of suppliers and falling behind with payments to HMRC.
  • Balance sheet test: Where a company’s liabilities exceed the value of its assets.

For small businesses and the self-employed, free advice can be accessed from the Business Debtline charity.

Avoiding insolvency

Recently introduced measures might help a company avoid formal insolvency procedures.

  • A moratorium period gives a struggling business formal breathing space from creditors to explore rescue and restructuring options.
  • A new type of restructuring plan can be applied even if certain classes of creditors vote against it.

Information on tell-tale signs of possible insolvency, and how managing an insolvent company incorrectly can lead to personal liability and/or being disqualified as a director, can be found here.

Please get in touch with us if you believe you may need help.


All data and figures referred to in our news section are correct at the date of publishing and should not be relied upon as still current.