Corporate insolvencies in England and Wales are at their highest level since 2009, according to new data from the Insolvency Service.

In Q3 2023, 6,208 companies registered as insolvent in England and Wales, down 2% from the previous quarter but up by 10% compared to Q3 2022.

This rise in insolvencies can be partially attributed to firms struggling with rising borrowing costs, high inflation and post-pandemic debt.

The number of creditors’ voluntary liquidations (CVLs) hit 4,965 between July and September 2023. According to the Insolvency Service, the last two quarters saw CVLs rise to their highest levels since the series began in 1960.

During the same period, there were 735 compulsory liquidations, 466 administrations and 41 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs).

Notably, over the 12 months to Q3 2023, the construction sector had the highest number of new underlying company insolvencies (4,272), with the wholesale and retail trade (3,777) and accommodation and food services (3,477) sectors following closely.

Meanwhile, individual insolvencies hit 24,418 in Q3 2023 – down by 6% from the previous quarter and 15% lower compared to the same period last year.

Commenting on the insolvency statistics, past president of R3, Christina Fitzgerald, said:

“A perfect storm of economic issues has led to the highest Q3 corporate insolvency figures in more than two decades. A combination of rising costs, director fatigue and increased creditor pressure mean more firms are turning to a corporate insolvency process to resolve their financial issues.

“Our message to anyone who is worried about their personal or business finances is to seek advice as soon possible – as soon as you become concerned.”