A third more companies fell into bankruptcy in 2009 than the year before, according to official statistics released today.
In 2009, one in every 114 companies entered liquidation, up from around one in every 150 in 2008, an increase of 29%, according to figures from the Insolvency Service.
On a quarterly basis, within financial intermediation trading-related, bankruptcies fell to 51 for Q3, the last period for which there is data, down from 54 the previous quarter.
Of those, two related to insurance and pension funding, down from five in Q2.
In total in 2009, company insolvencies, including compulsory liquidations and creditors' voluntary liquidations (CVL), hit 19,077, up 22.8% on 2008.
CVLs were up a massive 33.8% on 2008 figures, reaching 13,434. Compulsory liquidations accounted for 5,643, up 2.7% on 2008.
However, seasonally adjusted figures report 4,566 compulsory liquidations and CVLs in Q4 2009, down 1.7% on the previous quarter, and a decrease of 1.1% on the same period a year ago.
Compulsory liquidations were up 2.7% on Q3 but down 14.2% on Q4 2008, and creditors voluntary liquidations were down 3.5% on the previous quarter, though up 5.7% on the same quarter the previous year.
The figures for individuals are similarly dire, with levels of personal insolvency in the UK increasing for the eighth consecutive quarter to hit their highest level since records began.
In 2009, one in every 320 adults was declared insolvent, over a quarter (26%) more than in 2008.
In total last year, 134,142 individuals were declared insolvent, up from 106,544 in 2008.
The figures also show the number people receiving bankruptcy orders rose to 74,670 from 67,428 in 2008. The number of individual voluntary arrangements also soared to 47,641, up from 39,116 in 2008.
Overall, 11,8311 people received debt relief orders (DRO) last year, though no comparable annual figures are available.
In Q4 2009, there were 35,574 individual insolvencies in England and Wales, up slightly from the Q3 figure of 35,242, but an increase of 24.9% on the same period a year ago.
Of these 17,007 represent bankruptcy orders, down from 18,347 in the previous quarter, and down 5.5% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
Steve Rees, managing director, Vincent Bond and Co, says: "There‟s a growing trend towards debt relief orders (DRO‟s). Introduced into the market in April 2009, and after only 6 months, they made up over 10% of all personal insolvency procedures."
"Expect to see growing numbers of personal insolvencies over the next 12 months, particularly Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) growth as the industry welcomes new IVA protocol."
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