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Bankruptcy Statistics

Bankruptcy Statistics

In 2019 just under 44,000 people went bankrupt or started a Debt Relief Order in England & Wales. This was almost exactly the same number as in 2018 (44,060).

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Overall the total number of people declaring themselves insolvent in 2019 (including IVAs) was approximately 122,000. This was an increase of 6% compared to 2018 (114,747).

Bankruptcy Statistics Table

Qtr 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr 4 Total Grand
Total
2020 4,557
6,875
4,557
6,875
11,432
2019 4,468
6,875
4,234
6,733
4,178
6,721
3,860
6,865
16,740
27,194
43,934
2018 4,384
6,477
4,108
6,959
4,208
6,924
3,940
7,060
16,640
27,420
44,060
2017 4,083
6,119
3,722
6,146
3,737
6,274
3,563
6,355
15,105
24,894
39,999
2016 3,775
6,722
3,709
6,741
3,936
6,490
3,624
6,243
15,044
26,196
41,240
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

Number of People Going Bankrupt remains steady

The number of people going bankrupt in England and Wales has plateaued  over the last 2 years. This is somewhat of a surprise given the rise of 10% between 2017 and 2018.

Employment in the UK is currently at record highs. Although many of the jobs created are based around the zero hour contract “Gig economy” people seem to be keeping on top of their finances.

Having said that it should be remembered that the number of people starting an IVA (the formal alternative to Bankruptcy) continues to increase.  There was a rise of 10% between 2018 and 19.

The number of people starting an IVA in 2019 increased by 10% compared to 2018.

DRO Volumes stay the same in 2019

27,194 people started a DRO in 2019. This was almost exactly the same as the 2018 figure (27,420).

The reason for the stabilising numbers is likely the same as those for Bankruptcy described above. Record employment means that may people are keeping their heads above water debt wise.

The number of people who carry out a DRO in any particular quarter is traditionally higher than the number going bankrupt as it is a cheaper solution to implement. However there are strict qualification criteria which prevent many people from using this solution.

A DRO is only possible if your total debt is £20,000 or less, you are not home owner, your car is worth less than £1000 and your surplus income is less than £50/mth.

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