Company Insolvency Snapshot

Welcome to the C.I.S. (Company Insolvency Snapshot) from, your weekly guide to the main insolvency news and opportunities throughout the UK.

This indispensable guide is indented as a FREE supplement to aid business recovery specialists and insolvency practitioners throughout the UK to get the very best from the industry and perhaps even aid you in lending a helping hand to those companies experiencing financial difficulties to such a level that insolvency looks to be the only realistic option.

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This week:

Huge rise in Plymouth companies’ facing bankruptcy as they struggle to repay the government’s Covid Bounce Back Loan.

According to insolvency expert, Lisa Thomas from Parker Andrews, the economic fallout from Covid-19 is causing companies in Plymouth to seriously consider bankruptcy. Specifically, Ms. Thomas warns that struggling businesses may be unable to pay back their Bounce Back Loans (BBL) given other financial pressures such as rising energy bills and flat economic growth. As a result of these challenges, Mrs Thomas thinks this will be the busiest time that insolvency practitioners have experienced in many years.

Lisa Thomas, Business Recovery Specialist from Parker Adams

With the ongoing pandemic’s impact on various sectors, many companies are struggling to survive and may face insolvency. Unfortunately, some industries such as construction, hospitality, and retail seem to be affected more than others. As a result of the difficult economic conditions, some businesses are already taking steps to close down.

One major program that played a role in enabling small firms to keep afloat is the Bounce Back Loan (BBL) scheme, which offered low-interest loans of up to £50,000 guaranteed by the government. However, during liquidation proceedings, BBL debt will be written off resulting in significant losses for both parties involved. It is estimated that a total of £19.7 billion worth of BBL debt will be written off throughout the UK.

recruitment geeks forced insolvency with just £47 in the bank

Plymouth-based Recruitment Geeks forced insolvency with just £47 in the bank.

The economic impact of Covid-19 has left many company directors in a difficult position. Some are hesitant to restart their businesses due to the challenges posed by the current economy. While insolvency may seem like an appealing option, it is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Directors who choose this route may face consequences such as investigations into their conduct and restrictions on future borrowing abilities. However, in some cases, liquidation may be the simpler option. Some directors choose to write off debts completely, with the government guaranteeing banks in the form of BBLs. Sadly, this leaves taxpayers ultimately bearing the burden of unpaid debts.

UK corporate insolvencies up 57% on last year whilst Creditors’ Voluntary liquidations reach their highest level in 62 years.

The Insolvency Service’s quarterly report on business insolvencies in England and Wales for the year 2022 showed a significant increase from the previous year. The figures indicate that 22,109 businesses became insolvent, which is a 57.3% increase compared to the previous year’s figure of 14,059. It also represents an increase of 75% from 2020 and 28.8% from 2019.

This trend is particularly stark when compared to pre-pandemic levels, with CVL numbers in 2022 reaching about 21% higher than projected under normal circumstances. These figures raise concerns about business and economic stability in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the pandemic, CVLs had been steadily increasing at a rate of around 10% per year but dropped in 2020 due to global economic uncertainty. However, this was short-lived as numbers have once again increased dramatically in 2022 to reach levels 56% above pre-pandemic figures. Ultimately, if pre-pandemic trends had continued there would have been an approximately 21% lower number of CVLs last year.

But what of the industries most affected by CVLs?

The construction industry tops the list with 4,143 cases captured, accounting for 19% of all incidents in this sector. The wholesale and retail trade industry comes in at a close second with 3,263 cases or 15%. Other included industries are accommodation and food service activities (12%), administrative and support service activities (10%), and professional, scientific, and technical activities (8%).

One of the largest Northeast Construction firms looks to be in real financial trouble and in need of rescue.

Tolent Contruction company


Tolent, a major construction company based in Gateshead, is currently experiencing significant financial problems that have raised doubts about its future. With around 450 employees and a turnover of £200 million, the firm has played a role in several of the North East’s most high-profile building projects, such as Hadrian’s Tower in Newcastle, Riverside Sunderland, and Milburngate development in Durham. This unfortunate situation has left many wondering if Tolent will be able to weather the storm and emerge from insolvency.

Tolent is reportedly seeking the assistance of business advisors to navigate their financial difficulties and avoid insolvency. Unfortunately, this comes at a time when the construction industry as a whole is struggling with rising costs and lacklustre market conditions (Killingworth construction firm ‘Mentor’ have recently signalled their intention to appoint administrators). Tolent has already suffered losses due to adverse trading conditions, including the collapse of Newcastle company High Street Group, which left Tolent with a bad debt of £2.1m. Despite a turnover of £197.7m, the firm recorded a loss of £4m in its most recent accounts. It remains to be seen if Tolent will be able to weather this “perfect storm” and emerge financially stable in the long run.

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From to you: have a prosperous week and we shall see you again in seven days.