What do the latest insolvency statistics tell us?

What do the latest insolvency statistics tell us?

Insolvency statistics relating to the fourth quarter 2013 have been released and can be accessed here. Commenting on the statistics, Frances Coulson said:

While it might appear that reducing insolvencies is cause for cheer, it is not the full picture.

Personal insolvency figures exclude a massive swathe of people in Debt Management Plans - far more than bankruptcy numbers - (many of which go on to fail). Also excluded are people simply servicing interest payments and barely keeping their heads above water who are vulnerable to any small fluctuation in cost of living or unexpected expense. As with corporate failures which are also reducing, an interest rate rise would tip many over the edge.

Since 2008 company dissolutions rose considerably and, while I haven’t seen recent figures, I suspect that some “zombie” companies have quietly faded away.

The recovery is being talked up but a percentage here or there is a fragile recovery. No doubt insolvency rates will continue to flatline or fall in 2013 but the story may be different mid 2015 if the predicted interest rate rise Q4 2014 or Q1 2015 materialises.

Even with recovering property prices in many areas there is a time lag to extract cash for equity from any improvement and the fact remains that UKplc is a country living on debt and needs to produce actual wealth, not just hope inflation solves the issues.

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About the author:

Frances gained her LLB (Hons) at Kings’ College, London University in 1983. She then attended Chester College of Law to take what were then the Solicitors’ Final Examinations. She has been at Moon Beever since 1984 where she trained, qualifying in 1986, and a partner since 1988 becoming Managing Partner in 2000. She is also a founder partner of ShawnCoulson, an international association, of which Moon Beever is the London office. She is Head of Insolvency and Business Recovery at Moon Beever running a substantial team of insolvency specialists. She undertakes most areas of personal and corporate insolvency, specialising in contentious insolvency especially cases involving fraud, as well as provisional liquidations and injunctive work generally.

She is Chairman of the Appeal Committee at ACCA and a member of the Insolvency Law Evaluation Panel at the Insolvency Service, and CBI Insolvency Panel as well as a member of Insol, and the IBA and, veering towards the personal, of the NFU, and the Carlton Club.

Frances is a regular speaker in the UK and abroad on insolvency and practice management.

Frances was formerly Chairman of the SPG Committee of R3, the Insolvency trade body representing 97% of licensed insolvency practitioners. She is President of R3 for 2011-2012, and remains a member of its R3 Policy Group.

She is interested in all things equestrian as are her three daughters and her husband, and spends her free time (such as it is) with her family and other animals, riding and trying to improve her strokes at Real Tennis.