Monthly UK insolvency statistics - August 2021

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

UK Monthly Insolvency Stats - August 21

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 – August 2021

In August 2021 the number of registered company insolvencies were at their highest level since the start of the first UK lockdown in March 2020 and were similar to pre-pandemic levels. There were a total of 1,348 company insolvencies in England and Wales, which included:

  • 1,256 creditors’ voluntary liquidations (CVLs)
  • 35 compulsory liquidations
  • 55 administrations
  • 2 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs)
  • 0 receiverships

Overall company insolvencies in August 2021 were 1 per cent lower when compared to August 2019 (pre-pandemic) but 71 per cent higher when compared to August 2020. When compared with the number of company insolvencies registered in August 2020 and August 2019:

  • CVLs were more than double when compared to August 2020 and 30% higher than in August 2019
  • compulsory liquidations were 55% lower than August 2020 and 82% lower than August 2019
  • CVAs were 87% lower than August 2020 and 93% lower than August 2019
  • administrations were 50% lower than August 2020 and 69% lower than August 2019

Between 26 June 2020 and 31 August 2021, 13 companies obtained a moratorium and nine companies had a restructuring plan registered at Companies House – two new procedures created by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.

Individual insolvency statistics for England and Wales – August 2021

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

In August 2021, there were:

  • 7,021 IVAs registered (using a three-month rolling average)
  • 1,714 DROs
  • 614 bankruptcies (550 debtor applications and 64 creditor petitions)

Debt relief orders and bankruptcies

The number of DROs in August 2021 was 29 per cent higher than in August 2020 but 12 per cent lower than in August 2019. Changes to DRO eligibility came into effect on 29 June 2021, including an increase in the level of debt at which people can apply for a DRO from £20,000 to £30,000.

Bankruptcies were 22 per cent lower than in August 2020 and this was driven by a drop in debtor applications (22 per cent lower) and creditor petitions (24 per cent lower). Compared to August 2019, total bankruptcies were 54 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.

IVAs in August 2021 were 44 per cent higher when compared to the average number of registered IVAs during the three months ending August 2020 and 4 per cent higher than the three months ending August 2019.

Breathing Space registrations

Between 4 May (when the scheme was launched) and 31 August 2021 there were 22,151 breathing space registrations. These composed of:

  • 21,884 standard breathing space registrations
  • 267 mental health breathing space registrations (for those receiving mental health crisis treatment)

In August 2021 there were 4,854 breathing space registrations. This was made up of 4,786 (98.6%) standard breathing space registrations and 68 (1.4%) mental health breathing space registrations.

Company insolvency statistics for Scotland – August 2021

The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland’s Insolvency Service, administers company insolvency in Scotland. They reported that in August 2021 there were 89 company insolvencies in total, almost double that of August 2020 and 13 per cent higher than August 2019.

Total corporate insolvencies in Scotland in August 2021 consisted of:

  • 11 compulsory liquidations
  • 76 CVLs
  • 2 administrations
  • 0 CVAs
  • 0 receivership appointments

Company and individual insolvency statistics for Northern Ireland – August 2021

In Northern Ireland in August 2021 there were:

  • 9 company insolvencies
  • 148 individual insolvencies

Companies insolvencies were double that of August 2020 but 59 per cent lower when compared to August 2019 and consisted of:

  • 8 CVLs
  • 1 compulsory liquidation
  • 0 CVAs
  • 0 administrations
  • 0 administrative receiverships

Individual insolvencies were 38 per cent higher than in August 2020 but 28 per cent lower than August 2019. They consisted of:

  • 127 IVAs
  • 15 DROs
  • 6 bankruptcies

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 September 2021 will be released on 15 October 2021.

See also

Monthly UK insolvency statistics - July 2021

Company insolvency statistics – Q2 2021

UK individual insolvency statistics – Q2 2021

About The Gazette’s data service

What you need to know about Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

Find out more

Monthly Insolvency Statistics August 2021 (GOV.UK)

The Insolvency Service (GOV.UK)

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB)

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Legislation)

Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space) guidance for money advisers (GOV.UK)

Image: Getty Images

Publication date: 20 August 2021