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R3 responds to latest insolvency statistics

R3 president, Steven Law, comments on the latest insolvency statistics, released today:

Corporate insolvency stats

“The fact that corporate insolvencies in 2010 were lower than in 2009 suggests that this has been an atypical recession. HMRC’s Time to Pay scheme and the historically low interest rates have been effective at stemming the flow of insolvencies that usually occur post-recession. However it is important that businesses continue to carefully monitor their financial health as many will be affected by the implementation of recent fiscal policies.

“Businesses that rely on consumer spend will see their bottom line affected by the VAT increase as they try to absorb the tax or pass it on to their consumers which will have a negative effect on consumer-demand.

“Our research found that ten per cent of businesses describe themselves as reliant on public sector contracts and these businesses will be hit as the public sector cuts start to take effect this year. Our members believe that the construction industry will be the worst affected by the public sector cuts due to the reduction in capital spending in education and social housing.

“For businesses that are struggling it is important that they seek advice sooner rather than later so they can be put onto the path of recovery.”


Personal insolvency stats

“Although the number of people in formal insolvency procedures fell in the last quarter of 2010, personal insolvency hit a record high at over 135,000. Worryingly, these figures do not include the number of people using informal insolvency solutions such as debt management plans, of which there are estimated to be around 700,000.

“Unfortunately, for those that are struggling with debt the worst may not be over. Inflation, the rise in the cost of fuel and the increase in VAT means that the cost of living has risen at a time when most of us are experiencing pay freezes, pay cuts and, in some cases, unemployment. In fact, our research found that, in the last quarter of 2010, there was a 4 percent jump in the number of businesses making redundancies.

“The findings from our personal debt survey found that four in ten people were already struggling to make it to payday, with more than a third (35%) saying they struggle because of credit card debts; and one in six say it’s because of their mortgage repayments. Changes to the economic landscape which include a potential interest rate rise means that this figure is likely to grow. For those that are worried about their finances, seeking professional advice is the best remedy.”

R3 Press Office

Notes to editors:

  • R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals and represents the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners.

  • R3 comments on a wide variety of personal and corporate insolvency issues. Contact the press office, or see for further information.

  • R3 promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled individuals and businesses; all R3 members are regulated by recognised professional bodies
  • R3 stands for 'Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal' and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.