One of the country’s leading restructuring advisors is pleading with business owners to face up to problems earlier, as company insolvencies continue to hit record levels.

The plea comes as latest monthly insolvency statistics reveal the number of registered company insolvencies in December 2022 was 1,964, a 32% increase on the previous year (1,489 in December 2021) and 76% higher than in December 2019 (pre-pandemic; 1,119).

Of those, there were 183 compulsory liquidations in December 2022, more than three and a half times as many as in December 2021 and 8% higher than in December 2019.

Nicola Clark, Partner & Head of Restructuring at Azets in the North West, the UK Top 10 firm, is urging business owners to take action sooner, before insolvent liquidation becomes the only option.

“It’s inevitable that failure statistics will uptick regularly in UK but that’s not the whole story.

“There is still a prize for management in consulting and contemplating options with advisors at the opening stages of the demise curve. The more constructive options of air cover via a moratorium or a restructuring plan are viable for businesses that consult early.

“Unfortunately, too many management teams are not facing problems early enough and when the decline accelerates often an insolvent liquidation is the only option. That’s not a great option because it’s an end-of-life process for the business.

“It’s strange to say it but an uptick in administrations, particularly where the process has been used as the structure for a pre-packaged sale, is a much better sign of the UK’s economic resilience than an uptick in compulsory liquidations.

“For advisors, if a client is not paying your bill, sending them to Coventry is not the smart option. It’s likely symptomatic of an issue and the client probably needs your help more than ever.”

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Published On: January 17th, 2023
Nicola Clark