Monthly Business Insolvency Figures, 2021 | Creditsafe
Research & Reports

Business Insolvency Statistics

Company insolvency figures for December 2021

3 Mins
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Here you will find all the latest details on company insolvencies across the UK and including Northern Ireland. This page is updated on a monthly basis and provides details on company insolvencies by month and sector since 2018. For real-time insight and alerts about company insolvencies please consider subscribing to the Creditsafe platform.

Key findings for December 2021:

  • A total of 2,469 companies became insolvent in December 2021, the highest number of monthly insolvencies since December 2018.
  • The total number of insolvencies increased by 22% compared to the previous month (November 2021).
  • The total number of insolvencies increased by 39% compared to the previous year (December 2020.)
  • 16% of insolvencies came from within the Construction sector.

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Insolvencies by Month

Total number of insolvencies by month.

December 2021 saw the total number of insolvencies increase by 22% compared to November. A total of 2,469 companies become insolvent, an increase of 22% compared to last month (November) and a 39% increase compared to December 2020.

This increase in the overall number of insolvencies undoubtedly reflects the particular circumstances resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown. Many distressed businesses have managed to keep afloat by making use of the high level of government support available, and many may well have opted to file for an extension with Companies House. However, as government schemes have now come to an end and cash reserves become scarce, we may continue to see the overall number of business failures increase through 2022.

The total number of UK company insolvencies for the year 2021 rose to 19,827. This represents a 1% increase compared to the same period in 2020; and, the number of insolvencies has been steadily rising since August 21.

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Insolvencies by Sector

The total number of insolvencies by sector YTD.

The construction sector remains the most significant contributor to the insolvency numbers representing 16% of all insolvencies in December 2021, with 407 construction companies becoming insolvent. Year to date, construction accounts for 16% of all company insolvencies in 2021.

Two sectors that traditionally see large numbers of failures are also worth examining and worth keeping under review. Wholesale & Retail saw 266 companies become insolvent in December, while 234 Hospitality businesses failed. Taken together, these sectors represent 20% of all insolvencies, and with both areas previously vulnerable to government lockdown measures and restrictions, we may continue to see similar levels of failures going into 2022.

The table below shows the total number of insolvencies year-to-date (January - August 2021) by sector. It also includes the % share of insolvencies for 2021 and the % change compared to the same period in 2020, 2019 and 2018.

Want to explore the data for yourself?

Whether you want to understand the impact of Insolvencies across a group of sectors or the likelihood of an individual company becoming insolvent, you can find all of this data and more within the Creditsafe platform.

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Creditsafe uses the following statuses to determine if a company has become insolvent and will count insolvency based on its first insolvency trigger from one of the statuses below:

  • In Liquidation.
  • Administrator Appointed.
  • Appointment of Liquidator.
  • Meeting of Creditors.
  • In Administration.
  • In Receivership.
  • Administrative Receiver Appointed.
  • Administration Order.
  • The company is wound-up.