Company insolvencies stay low amid Government Covid support

The number of companies and people applying for insolvency remained low in February, as the Government’s business support plans are making it possible for even struggling firms to stay above water.

Last month 686 company insolvencies were registered in England and Wales, a 49% drop on the same period a year earlier.

In Scotland the equivalent figure dropped by 70% to just 26, while there were only five company insolvencies in Northern Ireland, down 81%, data from the Insolvency Service shows.

The fall is a similar trend to the rest of the last year, as Government protections and support schemes kept businesses on life support.

Policies have allowed businesses to delay some tax payments, take out Government-backed loans and put their staff on Government-paid furlough.

There have also been temporary restrictions on winding-up petitions, which allow people and firms who are owed money by a business to ask a court to close it and sell its assets.

“The overall reduction in company insolvencies is likely to be in part driven by the range of government support put in place to financially support companies in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic,” the Insolvency Service said.

Since March last year, the number of registered company insolvencies has been lower in 10 of 11 months in England and Wales than it was in the same period a year earlier.

Meanwhile two forms of individual insolvencies, debt relief orders and bankruptcies were also down by 42% compared with February 2020, the Insolvency Service said.