Personal insolvencies in the UK rise to an eight-year high

The July to September 2019 (Q3) individual insolvency statistics for England and Wales have been published by The Insolvency Service, together with related figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Individual Insolvency Statistics England Wales Q3 2019

UK individual insolvency statistics - Q3 2019

  • total individual insolvencies increased slightly in Q3 2019 when compared to Q2 2019
  • this was mainly driven by an increase in individual voluntary arrangements
  • individual insolvencies are the highest they have been since Q4 2010
  • bankruptcies fell both in comparison to the previous quarter and the same quarter last year

There was a total of 30,879 individual insolvencies in Q3 2019. This represents a 0.6 per cent increase from Q2 2019 and a 22.7 per cent increase when compared to the same quarter in 2018.

According to The Insolvency Service, the slight rise in individual insolvencies from Q2 2019 was driven by increases in individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) and debt relief orders (DROs); 1.4 percent to 19,973 and 0.3 per cent to 6,784, respectively. Though, the number of bankruptcies did decrease by 2.6 per cent to 4,122. 

Overall, IVAs were the most common type of individual insolvency in Q3, accounting for 64.7 per cent of all cases. They were followed by DROs (22.0%) and bankruptcies (13.3%).

Insolvency rate statistics for England and Wales - Q3 2019

  • in the 12 months ending Q3 2019, for every 10,000 adults, 27.4 entered insolvency
  • this was up from 26.2 per 10,000 in the 12 months ending Q2 2019
  • the insolvency rate in England Wales has increased for four consecutive quarters and is at its highest level since Q3 2011

Unlike an absolute number of insolvencies over a period, the insolvency rate gives an indication of the probability of an individual becoming insolvent in the previous 4 quarters.

Scotland individual insolvency statistics - Q3 2019

  • there was a total of 3,466 individual insolvencies in Scotland in Q3 2019
  • this was an increase of 12.6% compared to the same quarter of the previous year
  • 1,178 of all insolvencies in Scotland were sequestrations (of which 510 went into sequestration via the minimal asset process route) and 2,288 were protected trust deeds

Please note, legislation relating to individual insolvency in Scotland is devolved. The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland?s Insolvency Service, administers individual insolvency in Scotland.

Northern Ireland individual insolvency statistics - Q3 2019

  • there was a total of 718 individual insolvencies in Northern Ireland in Q3 2019
  • this was an increase of 34.0% compared with the same quarter of the previous year
  • 410 of all insolvencies in Northern Ireland were IVAs, 143 were bankruptcies and 163 were 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.

Next personal insolvency statistics release

Figures for Q4 2019 will be released on 30 January 2020 at 9.30am.

See also

How can personal insolvency be legally satisfied?

Company insolvency statistics, Q3 July-September 2019

Find out more

The Insolvency Service

Individual Insolvency Statistics: July to September 2019

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