Company insolvency statistics - Q4 2023

The October to December 2023 (Q4) company 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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Company insolvency statistics for England and Wales – 2023

The total number of company insolvencies registered in 2023 was 25,158 (seasonally adjusted), the highest number since 1993 and 14% higher than 2022.

  • 20,577 creditors’ voluntary liquidations (CVLs) – a 9% increase from 2022
  • 2,827 compulsory liquidations – a 44% increase from 2022
  • 1,567 administrations – a 27% increase from 2022
  • 185 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) – a 67% increase from 2022
  • 2 receiverships – one more than in 2022

The number of CVLs in 2023 was the highest annual number in the time series since records began in 1960. Compulsory liquidations and the number of administrations were higher than 2022 but slightly lower than pre-pandemic levels. Numbers of CVAs also increased on 2022 volumes but still remained below levels seen pre-pandemic.

Company insolvency statistics for England and Wales – Q4 2023

It should be noted that unlike monthly insolvency statistics, quarterly statistics are seasonally adjusted to account for seasonal variation in insolvencies across the year and allow for comparison to the most recent period within years.

After seasonal adjustment (where applicable), there were a total of 6,788 company insolvencies in England and Wales in Q4 2023, including:

  • 5,578 creditors’ voluntary liquidations (CVLs)
  • 780 compulsory liquidations
  • 379 administrations
  • 50 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs)
  • 1 receivership

Total company insolvencies in Q4 2023 increased by 9% from Q3 2023 and by 14% from the same quarter in the previous year.

In Q4 2023, CVLs accounted for 82% of all company insolvencies. The number of CVLs increased by 11% in Q4 2023 from Q3 2023 and by 15% from Q4 2022. The numbers of CVLs in the final 3 quarters of 2023 were the highest in the time series going back to 1960.

Moratoriums and restructuring plans

Between 26 June 2020 and 31 December 2023, 49 companies obtained a moratorium and 22 companies had a restructuring plan registered at Companies House, procedures created by Created by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.

Liquidation rate statistics for England and Wales – 2023

In 2023:

  • 1 in 186 companies were liquidated
  • the company liquidation rate was 53.7 per 10,000 active companies in England and Wales
  • the company liquidation rate was higher than the 12 months ending Q3 2023 and Q4 2022

Unlike the absolute number of liquidations over a period, the liquidation rate indicates the probability of a company entering liquidation in the previous four quarters. In general, periods of economic growth result in liquidation rates decreasing.

Industry sector insolvency findings for England and Wales – 2023

The three industries (in accordance with SIC 2007) that experienced the highest number of insolvencies in 2023 were:

  • construction (4,371 insolvencies, 18% of cases with industry captured)
  • wholesale and retail trade and repair of vehicles (3,929 insolvencies, 16% of cases with industry captured)
  • accommodation and food services activities (3,727 insolvencies, 15% of cases with industry captured)

The construction industry tends to have the highest quarterly number of insolvencies of any industrial grouping. Increases in insolvencies were seen across most industries in 2023 compared to 2022.

Scotland company insolvency statistics – Q4 2023

The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland’s Insolvency Service, administers company insolvency in Scotland. They reported that in Q4 2023, there were 314 company insolvencies, only one more insolvency more than the same quarter in 2022. Of the total company insolvencies in Scotland, there were:

  • 105 compulsory liquidations
  • 196 CVLs
  • 12 administrations
  • 1 CVA
  • 0 receiverships

Due to administrative differences, most company liquidations in Scotland are compulsory liquidations. This contrasts with England and Wales where creditors’ voluntary liquidations (CVLs) account for most company liquidations. Figures in Scotland are also not seasonally adjusted.

Northern Ireland company insolvency statistics – Q4 2023

In Northern Ireland in Q4 2023, there were 81 company insolvencies, an increase of 62% when compared to the same quarter of 2022. Of the total company insolvencies in Northern Ireland, there were:

  • 38 CVLs
  • 33 compulsory liquidations
  • 3 CVAs
  • 7 administrations
  • 0 administrative receiverships

Please note, the figures for Northern Ireland are not seasonally-adjusted.

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

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Next insolvency statistics release

Figures for Q1 2024 will be released on 26 April 2024.

See also

UK individual insolvency statistics – Q4 2023

Monthly UK insolvency statistics - December 2023

Company insolvency statistics – Q3 2023

What you need to know about Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

Find out more

Company Insolvency Statistics, October to December 2023 (GOV.UK)

The Insolvency Service (GOV.UK)

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB)


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Publication date

8 February 2024