UK individual insolvency statistics - Q1 2023

The January to March 2023 (Q1) individual insolvency stats for England and Wales have been published by The Insolvency Service, together with related figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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Individual insolvency statistics for England and Wales – Q1 2023

In Q1 2023, there were a total of 29,017 individual insolvencies, including:

  • 20,246 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs)
  • 7,034 debt relief orders (DROs)
  • 1,737 bankruptcies

Total individual insolvencies in Q1 2023 decreased by 2% from Q4 2022 and by 9% when compared to Q1 2022.

However, The Insolvency Service urge caution when interpreting IVA numbers as they are counted once they are registered with the Insolvency Service by licensed insolvency practitioners and there can be a time lag between the date on which the IVA is accepted and the date of registration.

Bankruptcies in Q1 2023 consisted of:

  • 1,449 debtors’ applications
  • 323  creditors’ petitions

The number of creditor petitions in Q1 2023 was the highest since the beginning of the pandemic, while debtors’ applications remained lower than 2021 levels.

The number of DROs in Q1 2023 increased by 13% from the previous quarter and were also 8% higher when compared to the same quarter last year.

Breathing Space registrations

There were 23,179 registered Breathing Spaces in Q1 2023. These comprised of:

  • 22,770 standard Breathing Space registrations
  • 409 mental health Breathing Space registrations

Breathing Space registrations were 34% higher in Q1 2023 than in Q1 2022.

Individual insolvency rate statistics for England and Wales – Q1 2023

In the four quarters ending Q1 2023:

  • 1 in 408 individuals became insolvent
  • the individual insolvency rate was 24.5 per 10,000 adults in England and Wales

In the four quarters ending Q1 2023:

  • the IVA rate decreased by 0.7 in comparison to the 12 months ending Q4 2022, but increased by 0.2 from the 12 months to Q1 2022
  • the rate of bankruptcy was the similar to the 12 months to Q4 2022, and was 0.2 lower than the 12 months ending Q1 2022
  • the rate of DROs rose by 0.1 compared to the rate in the 12 months ending Q4 2022, and by 0.4 from the 12 months ending Q1 2022

Bankruptcies by self-employment status

Bankruptcies by self-employment status are presented by The Insolvency Service with a one quarter lag. This is because it can take several weeks for trading status to be recorded following the date of the bankruptcy order.

In Q4 2022, there were:

  • 293 bankruptcies (seasonally adjusted) where the individual was self-employed, a decrease of 6% on Q3 2022 and 8% lower than the same period last year
  • 1,288 bankruptcies among other individuals in Q4 2022, a decrease of 8% compared with the previous quarter and 14% lower than the same quarter of the previous year

Both bankruptcies amongst the self-employed and other individuals remained historically low in Q1 2023.

Individual insolvency statistics for Scotland – Q1 2023

The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland’s Insolvency Service, administers individual insolvency in Scotland. They reported that there were 1,912 individual insolvencies in Scotland in Q1 2023, similar to the same quarter of 2022.

Of the total individual insolvencies in Scotland in Q1 2023, there were:

  • 590 sequestrations (of which 326 went into bankruptcy via the minimal asset process route)
  • 1,322 protected trust deeds

Individual insolvency statistics for Northern Ireland – Q1 2023

In Northern Ireland in Q1 2023, there were 410 individual insolvencies. Of the total individual insolvencies, there were:

  • 321 IVAs
  • 58 DROs
  • 31 bankruptcies

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

Enquire now

Next insolvency statistics release

Figures for Q2 2023 will be released on 28 July 2023.

You can see all personal insolvency notices in The Gazette.

See also

Company insolvency statistics – Q1 2023

Monthly UK insolvency statistics - March 2023

UK individual insolvency statistics – Q4 2022

What you need to know about Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

Find out more

Individual Insolvency Statistics, January to March 2023 (GOV.UK)

The Insolvency Service (GOV.UK)

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB)

Image: Getty Images

Publication date: 3 May 2023