Monthly UK insolvency statistics - April 2021

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the individual and company April 2021 insolvency statistics for England and Wales have been published by the Insolvency Service, together with related insolvency figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Insolvency Statistics UK April 2021

Insolvency statistics for England and Wales following coronavirus lockdown

The Insolvency Service is releasing monthly company and individual insolvency statistics for England and Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as monthly company statistics for Scotland, throughout the remainder of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and for a period thereafter.

However, these statistics are marked ‘experimental’ since the process of compiling insolvency data in monthly format is new to the statistics team at the Insolvency Service and is subject to review. The Insolvency Service also notes that as they do not record whether an insolvency is directly related to the coronavirus pandemic, as it is not possible to state its direct effect on insolvency volumes.

According to The Insolvency Service, the overall number of company insolvencies since the start of lockdown last year is likely to be impacted 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.

Company insolvency statistics for England and Wales – April 2021

Overall, the numbers of registered company insolvencies have remained low since the start of the first UK lockdown in March 2020, when compared with the same time period last year.

Total company insolvencies decreased in April 2021 when compared to April 2019. In April 2021, there were a total of 925 company insolvencies in England and Wales, which included:

  • 819 creditors’ voluntary liquidations (CVLs)
  • 26 compulsory liquidations
  • 75 administrations
  • 5 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs)
  • 0 receiverships

Overall company insolvencies in April 2021 were 23 per cent lower when compared to April 2020 and 35 per cent lower when compared to April 2019. When compared with the number of company insolvencies registered in April 2020 and April 2019:

  • compulsory liquidations were 74% lower than 2020 and 89% lower than 2019
  • CVLs were 12% lower than 2020 and 20% lower than 2019
  • CVAs were 76% lower than 2020 and 81% lower than 2019
  • administrations were 48% lower than both 2020 and 2019

Individual insolvency statistics for England and Wales – April 2021

As individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) numbers have been calculated using different methodology, they are presented separately to debt relief orders (DROs) and bankruptcies.

Overall DROs and bankruptcies decreased in April 2021 when compared to the same month last year and April 2019, while IVAs were higher than the rolling three-month average observed in the period ending April 2020 and April 2019.

In April 2021, there were:

  • 6,822 IVAs registered (using a three-month rolling average)
  • 1,425 DROs
  • 812 bankruptcies (739 debtor bankruptcies and 73 creditor bankruptcies)

Debt relief orders and bankruptcies

There was a 4 per cent reduction in both DROs when compared to April 2020 and a 40 per cent reduction in DROs when compared to April 2019.

Bankruptcies were 1 per cent lower than in April 2020 and this was driven by a drop in debtor applications (6 per cent lower), however creditor petitions were 121 per cent higher. It should be noted that creditor petitions were particularly low in April 2020 as this was during the first UK lockdown. Compared to April 2019, total bankruptcies were 46 per cent lower.

Individual voluntary arrangements

Due to volatile data, the Insolvency Service provided three-month rolling averages for IVAs, which indicate what the overall trend of IVA registrations might look like.

Using the three-month rolling average, IVAs in April 2021 were 22 per cent higher when compared to the average number of registered IVAs during each of the three months ending April 2020 and 11 per cent higher than the three-months ending April 2019.

It should be noted that one IVA provider experienced technical issues between December 2019 and March 2020 which resulted in IVAs not being registered with the Insolvency Service on a timely basis. This meant the number of IVAs registered in the three-months ending April 2020 was artificially low.

Company insolvency statistics for Scotland – April 2021

The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland’s Insolvency Service, administers company insolvency in Scotland. They reported that in April 2021 company insolvencies in Scotland decreased when compared to April 2020 and April 2019.

There were 38 company insolvencies in total, a decrease of 17 per cent when compared to April 2020 and 63 per cent lower than April 2019. Total corporate insolvencies in Scotland in April 2021 consisted of:

  • 9 compulsory liquidations
  • 28 CVLs
  • 1 administration
  • 0 CVAs
  • 0 receivership appointments

Company and individual insolvency statistics for Northern Ireland – April 2021

In Northern Ireland in April 2021 there were:

  • 5 company insolvencies
  • 226 individual insolvencies

Companies insolvencies were 67 per cent higher when compared to April 2020 but 74 per cent lower when compared to April 2019 and consisted of two CVLs and two compulsory liquidations. There were no CVAs, administrations or administrative receiverships.

Individual insolvencies were down 31 per cent from April 2019 and consisted of:

  • 208 IVAs
  • 9 DROs
  • 9 bankruptcies

As there were no individual insolvencies in Northern Ireland in April 2020, comparisons with this period are not possible.

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

Individual and company insolvency statistics for May 2021 will be released on 15 June 2021.

See also

Company insolvency statistics - Q1 2021

UK individual insolvency statistics - Q1 2021

About The Gazette’s data service

What you need to know about Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

How insolvency affects companies in the construction sector

Find out more

Monthly Insolvency Statistics April 2021 (GOV.UK)

The Insolvency Service (GOV.UK)

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB)

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Legislation)

Image: Getty Images

Publication date: 18 May 2021