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Corporate insolvencies nudge up after Brexit 7 November 2016

An estimated 3,633 companies failed during the third quarter of 2016, in a two percent rise on the three months prior, according to the Insolvency Service.

The government agency’s official statistics, published at the end of October, show that a trend in case numbers has been fairly flat for the past year, having followed a decreasing trend from mid-2011 to mid-2015.

The figures also show that an estimated 2,569 companies entered a creditors’ voluntary liquidation in the third quarter; a 5.2 percent rise on the previous quarter and a 2.2 percent year-on-year rise.

The Insolvency Service said these figures are in line with a fairly stable trend observed over the past two years.

Blair Nimmo, UK head of restructuring at KPMG, said: “The good news is that the predicted post-referendum spike in insolvencies hasn’t materialised, as companies refused to panic in the immediate aftermath of the vote, but instead adopted a ‘wait and see’ attitude.

“Many sought to keep up those good habits developed in recent years regarding keeping a close grip on cash and cost which has left them in good stead.

“However, we shouldn’t be naïve to the fact that this period of relative stability may not be here for the long term.”

He added: “There undoubtedly will be some companies who are already feeling the pinch due to the significant fall in the value of sterling, while others will be looking nervously towards their supply chains.

“Added to this are pressures unrelated to the referendum, such as increases to the Living Wage and movement in oil prices.”

The Insolvency Service’s figures also show a fairly benign context around compulsory liquidations compared to the recent past.

A total of 632 companies were subject to compulsory liquidation between July and September, a 4.5 percent decrease on the previous quarter but 2.4 percent higher than the same period in 2015.

Other types of company insolvency also remained in line with medium term trends.

There were an estimated 352 administrations, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to the previous quarter and 0.6 percent higher than the same quarter in 2015.

There were an estimated 75 company voluntary arrangements and five administrative receiverships.

The liquidation rate was at its lowest level since comparable records began.



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