UK individual insolvency statistics - Q3 2021

The July to September 2021 (Q3) individual insolvency stats for England and Wales have been published by The Insolvency Service, together with related figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Q3 2021 UK Individual Insolvency Stats

Individual insolvency statistics for England and Wales – Q3 2021

In Q3 2021, there were a total of 26,758 individual insolvencies, including:

  • 19,085 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs)
  • 5,735 debt relief orders (DROs)
  • 1,938 bankruptcies

Total individual insolvencies in Q3 2021 decreased by 2 per cent from Q2 2021 but increased by 33 per cent when compared to Q3 2020. The decrease in individual insolvencies when compared to the same period last year was driven by a 16 per cent decrease in bankruptcies and 7 per cent decrease in IVAs. The number of DROs increased by 31 per cent in Q3 2021 compared with the previous quarter and was 28 per cent higher than the same quarter last year.

Bankruptcies in Q3 2021 consisted of:

  • 1,726 debtors’ applications
  • 233 creditors’ petitions

The numbers of debtors’ applications and creditors’ petitions were both amongst the lowest seen since 1998 when data on petition type started to be captured.

The Insolvency Service urge caution when interpreting IVA number, as IVAs are counted within these statistics once they are registered with the Insolvency Service and are reported by quarter of registration. There can be a time lag between the date on which the IVA is accepted (known as the date of creditor agreement) and date of registration by licensed insolvency practitioners working for firms that specialise in this area. Changes in volumes of registered IVAs may be due in part due to changes in how these firms operate.

Breathing Space Registrations

Between 4 May (when the scheme was launched) and 30 September 2021 there were 27,246 breathing space registrations. These comprised of:

  • 26,896 standard breathing space registrations
  • 350 mental health crisis breathing space registrations (for those receiving mental health crisis treatment)

Individual insolvency rate statistics for England and Wales – Q3 2021

In the 12 months ending Q3 2021:

  • 1 in 416 individuals became insolvent
  • the individual insolvency rate was 24.0 per 10,000 adults in England and Wales
  • the individual insolvency rate was higher when compared to the 12 months ending Q2 2021 and Q3 2020

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 – Q3 2021

The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland’s Insolvency Service, administers individual insolvency in Scotland. They reported that in Q3 2021, there were 1,918 individual insolvencies individual insolvencies in Scotland, an increase of 8 per cent when compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

Of the total individual insolvencies in Scotland in Q3 2021, there were:

  • 524 sequestrations (of which 358 went into sequestration via the minimal asset process route)
  • 1,394 protected trust deeds

Individual insolvency statistics for Northern Ireland – Q3 2021

In Northern Ireland in Q3 2021, there were 413 individual insolvencies, a 1 per cent increase when compared with the same quarter of the previous year. Of the total individual insolvencies, there were:

  • 340 IVAs
  • 23 bankruptcies
  • 50 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.

Where can I see insolvency notices in The Gazette?

The Gazette is the primary source of both corporate insolvency and personal insolvency information in the UK and publishes this information in the form of insolvency notices, allowing transparency for the public, the credit industry and concerned individuals to quantify risk and inform creditors. You can view all corporate and personal insolvency notices on The Gazette website.

The Gazette also provides a data service which gives access to official intelligence on all UK businesses, corporate and personal insolvencies. Benefits of The Gazette’s data service include:

  • Bespoke reports - tailored around your specific business
  • Geo-targeted editions - available for specific geographical targeting (National, London, Belfast, Edinburgh)
  • Custom filters - specific custom attributes (company number, notice type, key terms)
  • Data at regular intervals - delivered at a rate to match your business needs (daily, weekly, monthly)

For more information on The Gazette’s data service, contact the team on 01603 985949 or email

Next insolvency statistics release

Figures for Q4 2021 will be released on 28 January 2022.

You can see all personal insolvency notices in The Gazette.

See also

Company insolvency statistics – Q3 2021

Monthly UK insolvency statistics - September 2021

What you need to know about Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

Find out more

Individual Insolvency Statistics, July to September 2021 (GOV.UK)

The Insolvency Service (GOV.UK)

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB)

Image: Getty Images

Publication date: 1 November 2021