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Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics: October to December 2023 (2023-24 Quarter 3)

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland


Corporate insolvency

AiB handles devolved elements of corporate insolvency. The Scottish Government’s competence is limited to:

  • the process of company liquidation and receivership and;
  • the management and maintenance of the Register of Insolvencies (RoI).

The RoI contains details of liquidation and receivership of Scottish businesses. This includes those wound up by either a Sheriff Court or the Court of Session. AiB needs to be notified of all company liquidations and receiverships in Scotland.

The statistics below are based on the date the insolvency was registered on AiB’s system. So, there is a time lag between the dates of award/registration and when AiB receives notice. Therefore, the figures reported by AiB may not exactly reflect the true number of awards/registrations in a quarter.

Table 2 shows corporate insolvencies by type between 2022-23 Q3 and 2023-24 Q3. Corporate insolvencies include:

  • receiverships appointments
  • compulsory liquidations
  • creditors’ voluntary liquidations

In the past, the majority of corporate insolvencies used to be compulsory liquidation. Since 2020-21 Q1, the majority are creditors’ voluntary liquidations. Creditors’ voluntary liquidations decreased by 1.6% between 2022-23 Q3 and 2023-24 Q3. Compulsory liquidations increased from 87 to 110 over the same period.

Table 2. Summary of the latest corporate insolvencies and members’ voluntary liquidations [p]
Financial quarter 2022-23 Q1 2022-23 Q2 2022-23 Q3 2022-23 Q4 2023-24 Q1 2023-24 Q2 2023-24 Q3 2023-24 Q4 Q3 vs Q3 change
Receiverships 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 [x] [z]
Compulsory liquidations 45 78 87 130 105 105 110 [x] 26.4%
Creditors’ voluntary liquidations 199 192 185 216 187 178 182 [x] -1.6%
Total corporate insolvencies 244 270 272 346 292 283 292 [x] 7.4%
Members’ voluntary liquidations 151 120 161 200 155 119 145 [x] -9.9%
Source: Accountant in Bankruptcy

Note

[p] Provisional. Figures for the financial year 2023-24 remain provisional until validation in July 2024.

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

[x] Data not (yet) available.

Chart 7 shows that there were 292 corporate insolvencies in 2023-24 Q3 compared with 272 in 2022-23 Q3. This is an increase of 7.4%.

Chart 7 also shows the number of MVLs. Some of the reasons why member(s) of a company may decide to adopt a voluntary winding up resolution and appoint a liquidator include:

  • retirement of company member(s)
  • restructuring of a company
  • deregistering an inactive company 
  • changes in the profitability of a market

The liquidator is appointed to realise the assets of the business and distribute the proceeds among the company members. It should be noted that MVLs are for solvent companies only, but still classed as insolvency process.

There were 145 MVLs in 2023-24 Q3 compared with 161 in 2022-23 Q3. A decrease of 9.9%.

Corporate insolvencies continue to rise post COVID

Chart 7: Total corporate insolvencies and members’ voluntary liquidations Apr-Jun 2010 to Oct-Dec 2023

Chart 7 shows the total number of corporate insolvencies and members' voluntary liquidations between 2010-11 Q1 and 2023-24 Q3. This chart shows that current levels of corporate insolvencies are higher than pre-COVID levels.

Reserved elements remain the responsibility of the UK Government and are dealt with by The Insolvency Service. The Insolvency Service is an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Reserved elements include:

  • company voluntary arrangements
  • administration
  • legal effects of liquidation
  • regulation of insolvency practitioners

Statistics on these reserved elements are available from The Insolvency Service.

The statistics presented here differ from those by The Insolvency Service, as they source their data from Companies House. Differences are due to AiB using its own administrative system’s data rather than the start date of the insolvency. Corporate insolvency statistics produced by The Insolvency Service are available here.

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