Company insolvency statistics - Q1 2021

The January to March 2021 (Q1) company insolvency stats for England and Wales have been published by The Insolvency Service, together with related figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Q1 2021 Insolvency Stats UK

Company insolvency statistics for England and Wales – Q1 2021

In England and Wales in Q1 2021, there were a total of 2,384 company insolvencies, including:

  • 2,047 creditors’ voluntary liquidations (CVLs)
  • 108 compulsory liquidations
  • 192 administrations
  • 37 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs)
  • 0 receiverships

Total company insolvencies in Q1 2021 decreased by 22 per cent from Q4 2020 and a 38 per cent decrease from the same quarter in the previous year.

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.

The overall reduction in company insolvencies since the start of lockdown last year is likely to be driven by the range of government measures put in place to financially support companies in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act.

Liquidation rate statistics for England and Wales – Q1 2021

In the 12 months ending Q1 2021:

  • 1 in 396 companies were liquidated
  • the company liquidation rate was 25.3 per 10,000 active companies in England and Wales
  • the company liquidation rate was slightly down in both the 12 months ending Q4 2020 and the same quarter a year ago

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 – Q1 2021

In the 12 months ending Q1 2021, the construction industry had the highest number of new underlying company insolvencies (1,712), 16 per cent of cases with industry captured.

Elsewhere the wholesale and retail trade; repair of vehicles (1,425) and accommodation and food services activities (1,404) grouping had the second and third highest number of new underlying company insolvencies in the 12 months ending Q1 2021.

Scotland company insolvency statistics – Q1 2021

The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland’s Insolvency Service, administers company insolvency in Scotland. They reported that in Q1 2021, there were 91 company insolvencies, a decrease of 61 per cent when compared to Q1 2020. Of the total company insolvencies in Scotland, there were:

  • 30 compulsory liquidations
  • 54 CVLs
  • 5 administrations
  • 2 CVAs
  • 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 – Q1 2021

In Northern Ireland in Q1 2021, there were 15 company insolvencies, a decrease of 82 per cent when compared with the same quarter of the previous year. Of the total company insolvencies in Northern Ireland, there were:

  • 2 compulsory liquidations
  • 11 CVLs
  • 1 administration
  • 1 CVAs
  • 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

Next insolvency statistics release

Figures for Q2 2021 will be released on 30 July 2021.

See also

Individual insolvency statistics – Q1 2021

UK company insolvency statistics - Q4 2020

What you need to know about Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

Find out more

Company Insolvency Statistics, January to March 2021 (GOV.UK)

The Insolvency Service (GOV.UK)

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB)

Image: Getty Images

Publication date: 5 May 2021