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Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics: Annual edition

An experimental statistics publication for Scotland

Corporate insolvency

AiB is responsible for devolved elements of corporate insolvency, including: development of policy on liquidation and receivership, and the management and maintenance of the Register of Insolvencies.

The Register of Insolvencies contains details of liquidation and receivership of Scottish businesses which are wound up by either a Sheriff Court or the Court of Session. AiB is required to be notified of all company liquidations and receiverships in Scotland.

Reserved elements remain the responsibility of the UK Government and are dealt with by The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Reserved elements include: company voluntary arrangements, administration, legal effects of liquidation and regulation of insolvency practitioners. Statistics on these reserved elements are available from The Insolvency Service.

It is important to note that the statistics for corporate insolvencies and members’ voluntary liquidations presented below are based on the date either process was registered on AiB’s administrative system. As a consequence, there is a time lag between the dates when a corporate insolvency is awarded or a member voluntary liquidation is registered and when AiB receives notice.

Corporate insolvency statistics presented here may differ from equivalent statistics published by The Insolvency Service, who source their data from Companies House. Similarly, members’ voluntary liquidations presented here may differ from equivalent statistics published by Companies House.

With this caveat in mind, there were 1,132 corporate insolvencies in 2022-23, 278 more than in 2021-22. Corporate insolvencies include receivership appointments, compulsory liquidations and creditors’ voluntary liquidations, this breakdown is detailed in Table 10 below. Historically, the volume of corporate insolvencies in Scotland have been driven by compulsory liquidations. Since 2020-21, this has not been the case.


Table 10: Number of corporate insolvencies and members’ voluntary liquidations by financial year
Financial year of the receipt date 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Annual change (%)
Number of corporate insolvencies 902 846 884 967 948 442 854 1,132 32.6%
of which: Receiverships 4 5 1 3 1 0 0 0 [z]
of which: Compulsory liquidations 596 558 548 601 618 172 154 340 120.8%
of which: Creditors’ voluntary liquidations 302 283 335 363 329 270 700 792 13.1%
Members’ voluntary liquidations 810 597 533 507 705 879 717 632 -11.9%
Source: Accountant in Bankruptcy

Note: [z] Not applicable as percentages have not been calculated where numbers are small or a data point is simply not applicable.

In 2022-23, AiB also recorded 632 members’ voluntary liquidations compared with 717 in 2021-22. Members’ voluntary liquidations are not a form of insolvency.

Chart 7 shows the levels of corporate insolvency compared with members’ voluntary liquidations.

Chart 7 shows the number of corporate insolvencies and members' voluntary liquidations from 2015-16 to 2022-23. This chart shows that current levels of corporate insolvencies are greater than pre-COVID levels.

AiB does not publish statistics on the number of company voluntary arrangements or administrations, which are a reserved matter for the UK Government. These statistics are available from The Insolvency Service.

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