UK individual insolvency statistics - Q3 2023

The July to September 2023 (Q3) 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 – Q3 2023

In Q3 2023, there were a total of 24,418 individual insolvencies, including:

  • 13,965 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs)
  • 8,438 debt relief orders (DROs)
  • 2,015 bankruptcies

Total individual insolvencies in Q3 2023 decreased by 6% from Q2 2023 and by 15% when compared to Q3 2022.


After seasonal adjustment, the number of IVAs registered in Q3 2023 decreased by 17% from the previous quarter and were 35% lower than in Q3 2022.

The number of IVAs in Q3 2023 was the lowest since Q3 2020. This is likely in part due to an unusually large number of late registrations of IVAs approved in August and September. Nonetheless, the overall trend is that IVA numbers in 2023 to date have been lower than the record-high numbers in 2022.


The number of DROs in Q3 2023 increased by 18% from the previous quarter to the highest quarterly level recorded since their introduction in 2009. They were also 49% higher when compared to the same quarter last year.


Bankruptcies in Q3 2023 consisted of:

  • 1,532 debtors’ applications
  • 469 creditors’ petitions

Bankruptcy numbers in 2023 have increased from the 40-year low in 2022, but remained much lower than pre-2020 levels. Numbers of debtor bankruptcies were less than half of 2019 levels, while creditor petitions were 30-40% lower.

Breathing Space registrations

There were 23,089 registered Breathing Spaces in Q3 2023. These comprised of:

  • 22,722 standard Breathing Space registrations
  • 367 mental health Breathing Space registrations

Breathing Space registrations were 26% higher in Q3 2023 than in Q3 2022.

Individual insolvency rate statistics for England and Wales – Q3 2023

In the four quarters ending Q3 2023:

  • 1 in 441 individuals became insolvent
  • the individual insolvency rate was 22.7 per 10,000 adults in England and Wales

In the four quarters ending Q3 2023:

  • the IVA rate decreased by 1.7 in comparison to the 12 months ending Q1 2023 and decreased by 3.1 from the 12 months to Q3 2022
  • the rate of bankruptcy was the similar to both the 12 months to Q2 2023 and the 12 months ending Q3 2022
  • the rate of DROs rose by 0.6 compared to the rate in the 12 months ending Q2 2023, and by 1.0 from the 12 months ending Q3 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 Q3 2023, there were:

  • 344 bankruptcies (seasonally adjusted) where the individual was self-employed, an increase of 7% on Q2 2023 and 12% higher than the same period last year
  • 1,505 bankruptcies among other individuals in Q3 2023, an increase of 7% compared with the previous quarter and 12% higher than the same quarter of the previous year

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

Individual insolvency statistics for Scotland – Q3 2023

The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland’s Insolvency Service, administers individual insolvency in Scotland. They reported that there were 2,074 individual insolvencies in Scotland in Q3 2023, which was similar to the number in the same quarter of 2022.

Of the total individual insolvencies in Scotland in Q3 2023, there were:

  • 1,504 protected trust deeds
  • 570 sequestrations (of which 331 went into bankruptcy via the minimal asset process route)

Individual insolvency statistics for Northern Ireland – Q3 2023

In Northern Ireland in Q3 2023, there were 376 individual insolvencies. Of the total individual insolvencies, there were:

  • 295 IVAs
  • 41 DROs
  • 40 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 Q4 2023 will be released on 30 January 2024.

You can see all personal insolvency notices in The Gazette.

See also

Company insolvency statistics – Q3 2023

Monthly UK insolvency statistics - September 2023

UK individual insolvency statistics – Q2 2023

What you need to know about Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

Find out more

Individual Insolvency Statistics, July to September 2023 (GOV.UK)

The Insolvency Service (GOV.UK)

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB)


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Publication date

31 October 2023