New national insolvency statistics show a continuing decline in corporate and personal insolvencies across the country for the last quarter of 2014. This has welcomed and showcased a positive improvement for industry and commerce.
However business turnaround experts Wilson Field says regional variances within Yorkshire should not be ignored with many individuals still feeling the strain of high levels of debt and low wages.
While these national insolvency statistics may be a positive reflection of how well businesses are surviving and show the lowest decrease in recorded individual insolvencies in nine years, Wilson Field says research by an established debt charity confirms Yorkshire and The Humber is still showing worryingly high personal and household debt problems.
Phil Meekin from Wilson Field said; “The national insolvency statistics show a constantly improving scenario for many businesses and reductions in the overall number of individual insolvencies, but statistics published by national debt charity, StepChange, have revealed a different picture with a substantial increase in reported personal debt problems in Yorkshire and The Humber. “For example Hull, has always had a level of high personal debt levels, high unemployment and low wages, so although we are seeing individual insolvency reductions in some parts of the country, this can paint an unrepresentative picture. It is clear that parts of Yorkshire – and undoubtedly other regions, are very much struggling to reach any improvement.”
StepChange saw a 27 per cent rise in the number of people from Yorkshire and the Humber contacting them with serious debt problems in 2014 compared to 3013. Phil added; “What the statistics do show is that more companies are succeeding in general, which is good for the economy, but we need to maintain awareness of those areas where debt is still problematic.”
Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) had increased by 6.8% compared to 2013. Phil added; “This is a good development and probably the result of a growing awareness amongst the public of the availability of such schemes. A further factor could be the reduced availability of Pay Day Loans following a tightening up of the regulations last year.”
The Insolvency Service statistics show a general level of reduction in corporate insolvencies with the number of Company Voluntary Liquidations (CVLs) the lowest since 2008, administrations the lowest since 2004, and the lowest receiverships and Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) since 2007. Individual insolvencies saw similar trends with the overall number of recorded insolvencies reducing again to its lowest annual figure since 2005 according to the Insolvency Service.
Phil added; “Within these figures the number of national bankruptcies were down by 17.3% on 2013 and at their lowest level since 1998. Some of this can be attributed to the introduction of Debt Relief Orders (DROs) in 2009 but these figures do not record Informal Debt Management Plans (DLP) which are not recorded anywhere.”