Company insolvency statistics - Q3 2021

The July to September 2021 (Q3) company insolvency stats for England and Wales have been published by The Insolvency Service, together with related figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Q3 2021 Insolvency Stats UK

Company insolvency statistics for England and Wales – Q3 2021

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 3,765 company insolvencies in England and Wales in Q3 2021, including:

  • 3,471 creditors’ voluntary liquidations (CVLs)
  • 105 compulsory liquidations
  • 169 administrations
  • 20 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs)
  • 0 receiverships

Total company insolvencies in Q3 2021 increased by 17 per cent from Q2 2021 and by 43 per cent from the same quarter in the previous year.

While CVL numbers in Q3 2021 were higher than pre-pandemic levels, numbers for other insolvency procedures, such as compulsory liquidations for companies and bankruptcies for individuals, remained lower.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic overall numbers of company and individual insolvencies remained low when compared with pre-pandemic levels, likely to be driven in part by government measures that were put in place to support businesses and individuals, such as Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (CIGA2020).

Between 26 June 2020 and 30 September 2021, 14 companies obtained a moratorium and nine companies had a restructuring plan registered at Companies House, procedures created by Created by CIGA2020.

From 30 September 2021, some of the temporary government measures have either ended or have been replaced by new tapering measures. The period covered in this publication ended on this date.

Liquidation rate statistics for England and Wales – Q3 2021

In the 12 months ending Q3 2021:

  • 1 in 341 companies were liquidated
  • the company liquidation rate was 29.3 per 10,000 active companies in England and Wales
  • the company liquidation rate was higher than the 12 months ending Q2 2021 but lower than 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 – Q3 2021

In the 12 months ending Q3 2021, the construction industry had the highest number of new underlying company insolvencies (2,133), 17 per cent of cases with industry captured.

Elsewhere the accommodation and food services activities (1,577) and wholesale and retail trade; repair of vehicles (1,478) groupings had the second and third highest number of new underlying company insolvencies in the 12 months ending Q3 2021.

Scotland company insolvency statistics – Q3 2021

The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland’s Insolvency Service, administers company insolvency in Scotland. They reported that in Q3 2021, there were 231 company insolvencies, an increase of 66 per cent when compared to Q3 2020. Of the total company insolvencies in Scotland, there were:

  • 33 compulsory liquidations
  • 182 CVLs
  • 16 administrations
  • 0 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 – Q3 2021

In Northern Ireland in Q3 2021, there were 34 company insolvencies, a increase of 42 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
  • 29 CVLs
  • 1 administration
  • 2 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 Q4 2021 will be released on 28 January 2022.

See also

Individual insolvency statistics – Q3 2021

Monthly UK insolvency statistics - September 2021

What you need to know about Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

Find out more

Company Insolvency Statistics, July to September 2021 (GOV.UK)

The Insolvency Service (GOV.UK)

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB)

Image: Getty Images

Publication date: 1 November 2021