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Bankruptcy Statistics

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Bankruptcy StatisticsDuring quarter one 2017 approximately 4,072 people went bankrupt in England & Wales. An increase of 8% on the same quarter 2016.

  • Bankruptcy statistics table
  • Is the increase in Bankrupties likely to continue?
  • DRO volumes fall 9% year on year

Overall just over 24,500 people declared themselves formally insolvent in England & Wales during Q1 2017. This was the highest number of any quarter since Q2 2014.

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Bankruptcy Statistics Table

 Qtr 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr 4 Total Grand
Total
 2017 4,072
 6,119
  
  4,072
 6,119
 10,191
 2016 3,775
 6,722
 3,688
 6,741
 3,925
 6,490
 3,618
 6,243
 15,006
 26,196
 41,185
 2015 4,404
 6,213
 3,975
 5,832
 3,896
 5,629
 3,570
 6,501
 15,845
 24,175
 40,020
 2014 5,681
 6,549
 5,475
 7,006
 4,907
 6,808
 4,282
 6,325
 20,345
 26,688
 47,033
 2013 6,673
 7,219
 6,480
 7,132
 6,009
 6,632
 5,409
 6,563
 24,571
 27,546
 52,117
 2012 9,132
 7,897
 8,092
 7,956
 7,642
 7,777
 6,921
 7,549
 31,787
 31,179
 62,966
 2011 12,539
 6,788
 11,101
 7,258
 9,578
 7,604
 8,658
 7,359
 41,876
 29,009
 70,885
 2010 18,256
 5,644
 14,982
 6,295
 13,907
 7,068
 12,028
 6,172
 59,173
 25,179
 84,352
 2009 20,446 18,870
 1,978
 18,347
 4,505
 17,007
 5,348
 74,670
 11,831
 86,501

Source: The Insolvency Service Official Statistics (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
Note: Figures in red are Debt Relief Orders

Is the increase in Bankruptcies likely to continue?

The number of people who have gone Bankrupt in England and Wales has been on a declining trend since 2009. However quarter one 2017 saw a modest increase of 8% compared to last year.

It is too early to say whether this increase will turn into a trend. However the overall number of people using personal debt solutions (Bankruptcy, Debt Relief Order and IVA) increased by approximately 16% compared to the first quarter in 2016.

One of the reasons for this increase is likely to be a combination of rising household costs due to increasing inflation. In addition significant increases in personal borrowing over the last few years which tend be followed relatively swiftly with more people struggling to repay what they owe.

Going bankrupt was arguably made easier in April 2016 with the introduction of the on-line application process. However this did not significantly affect the numbers in the latter half of 2016.

DRO Volumes fall 9% year on year

The number of people starting a Debt Relief Order has fallen compared to the same quarter in 2016. This fall is interesting because during the same period the numbers using Bankruptcy and IVA increased.

It is difficult to suggest any meaningful reason for this seeming trend bucking. One possibility is that it is now faster to go bankrupt using the online application process than to apply for a DRO.

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