news release

Business insolvencies continue downward trend 

Improvement led by mid sized firms

26 November 2012 – The latest BusinessIQ Insolvency Index from Experian®, the global information services company, reveals an 8.7 per cent fall in the number of business insolvencies during October 2012, compared to the same month last year. 

The figures highlight an increasingly stable picture amongst businesses, with the data showing that 0.08 per cent of the business population (1,685 companies) failed in October 2012, compared to 0.10 per cent in October 2011.

The greatest improvement in the average rate of insolvencies was seen by firms with 101 to 500 employees - their insolvency rate fell from 0.21 per cent in October 2011 to 0.15 per cent.  This was followed closely by firms with 26 to 50 employees whose insolvency rate fell to 0.17 per cent, from 0.22 per cent in October 2011.

The only year-on-year increases in the rate of insolvencies came from larger firms; all those with over 501 employees, which saw an increase from 0.13 per cent in October 2011 to 0.20 per cent.  This was led by the demise of JJB Sports, and associated subsidiaries, and also Barracuda Pubs.  In addition, small firms with 6 to10 employees also saw a slight increase in insolvencies from 0.16 per cent to 0.17 per cent.

Max Firth, Managing Director, Experian Business Information Services, UK&I said: “Following the peak in March this year at 0.11 per cent, the insolvency rate fell to 0.08 per cent and has remained fairly steady each month since.  It shows that insolvencies are indeed stabilising, but the increase during October in large business failures highlights the need for ongoing monitoring of all clients and suppliers, regardless of size.

“It’s good to see that some of the bigger improvements were among the mid sized firms that typically tend to suffer the most due to their size.

“As firms start to show signs of stability, and in some pockets of the UK, growth, they need to remain prudent in order to prosper.” 

Improvements led by the West Midlands
Figures for the West Midlands showed the rate of insolvencies were down to 0.07 per cent, a significant drop on last year when the rate was 0.12 per cent.  It is now at the lowest rate since June 2007. 

Scotland experienced the second biggest fall compared to October 2011 – from 0.08 per cent to 0.04 per cent - hitting its lowest rate of insolvency since November 2009.  Quarter three of this year sparked a real turnaround for Scotland and the insolvency rate continues to fall into quarter four.

Sector view
Of the UK’s five largest industries - business services, IT, property, construction and the leisure and hotel industry - it was the hotel and leisure industry that made the most significant improvement with data showing a drop from 0.16 per cent in October 2011 to 0.12 per cent in October this year.  This was despite the impact of a few high profile insolvencies.  The industry has also seen a steady downward trend in insolvency rates, since March 2012 when it peaked at 0.21 per cent.

Insolvency Index Nov 2012

Insolvency Index Nov 2012


Follow us on Twitter @Experian_UK for our latest news, views and insight.

The latest analysis has been compiled using some of the most comprehensive business data on the market. This data powers BusinessIQ, a new easy-to-use, integrated online platform that enables credit professionals to accurately and efficiently manage its business customers and all the risks and opportunities associated with them - from acquisition stage and throughout the life cycle of the relationship.  This includes giving firms an early warning system on customers that might be getting into financial difficulty.

Gemma Wright
PR Manager Credit Services
T: 44 (0) 115 992 2645 | M: 44 (0) 7837

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2012 was US$4.5 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 44 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit