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Harsh business climate drives insolvencies to 30-year high

Corporate insolvencies are running at a 30-year high, according to new figures from the Insolvency Service for England & Wales.

In 2023, there were 25,158 registered company insolvencies, comprising 20,577 creditors’ voluntary liquidations (CVLs), 2,827 compulsory liquidations, 1,567 administrations, 185 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) and two receivership appointments. The number of company insolvencies was the highest annual number since 1993.


CVLs increased by 9% from 2022 to a new record high number in the time series going back to 1960. Numbers of compulsory liquidations (up 44%), administrations (up 27%) and CVAs (up 67%) were also all higher than in 2022.


One in 186 active companies (at a rate of 53.7 per 10,000 active companies) entered insolvent liquidation in 2023. This was an increase from the 49.6 per 10,000 active companies that entered liquidation in 2022. The rate in 2023 was the highest level since Q3 2014, the number of companies on the Companies House register has increased over time, so the 2023 rate remained much lower than the peak rate of 94.8 insolvencies per 10,000 active companies during the 2008/09 recession.


Commenting on the figures, Mark Goodwin, Managing Director at Optimise said: “The harsh business climate has driven corporate insolvencies to a 30-year high.


“Against this economic backdrop, Optimise has been developed for a wide range of insolvency litigation related claims including overdrawn directors’ loan accounts, breach of contract, breach of duty, transactions at undervalue, preferences, unlawful dividends, wrongful trading and claims against third parties. 


“Our established arrangement with a leading litigation funder avoids the lengthy delays often associated with seeking approval from third party funders and the fees of introducing brokers, which allows us to return greater recoveries to the insolvent estate and a much shorter take on procedure.  The feedback from our insolvency practitioner clients and contacts has been extremely valuable in developing our product to meet their requirements.” 


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