Lies, damn lies and………experimental statistics!

Steve ElliottPosted 25 November 2015 By Steve Elliott, Business Recovery and Insolvency Partner In Business Recovery & Insolvency

We have just received the first issue from the Insolvency Service of some “experimental” statistics on the results in the 3 months to the end of September 2015, focusing on their enforcement procedures on director disqualification and bankruptcy restriction orders.

The numbers are down on (almost) all counts on the same period in 2014: 27% fewer directors were disqualified and 39% fewer bankrupts had their bankruptcies extended.

The Insolvency Service attribute the decline in results in part to falling corporate and personal failures but do acknowledge that the government spending review has had an impact. The Insolvency Service voluntary exit scheme has led to the loss of many experienced insolvency staff and whilst those now filling those places are able and willing, the reorganisation and consequent  re-training must have had an impact.

In the successful director disqualification cases, by far the most often cited misconduct (in four times as many cases) was unfair treatment of the Crown as a creditor (paying suppliers and others ahead of PAYE/NIC and VAT). It is hardly surprising that HMRC are finding it difficult to stem these growing debts more quickly; they have shed 37,000 jobs since 2005 with many more losses planned.

These statistics are just a “snap-shot” and it will be some time before there can be any real comparison (unless you have more time and energy that I do!) but the cynic in me says that this is a very benign time for directors of failed companies just outside the disqualification “net”!

To discuss this or anything else contact Steve Elliott on 01793 818300 or send him an email.

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