Insolvency Service Statistics - what do users require from the statistics?

The Insolvency Service (IS) are to host a stakeholder meeting, to provide users of insolvency statistics with the opportunity to let them know how they (the users) use the official statistics the IS currently publish, what users would like to see more of, and what they could do without. This will help ensure end users’ views inform priorities for statistical work going forward, in the light of inevitable pressures on available resource. The IS are hoping to attract representatives from a range of different organisations and interests, including those from the insolvency profession; the debt advice industry; academia; the Bank of England; other government departments; and colleagues internal to the IS or the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The IS recently ran a user engagement consultation on these statistics; the Government Response to this is due to be published by the end of the year. There has already been some public feedback from academia on the statistics. In an open letter Professor Sir Roy Goode QC has recently observed that there should be more detail in the published statistics. In particular he opined that we should have more:

"1.    Details of the number of cases in which a company moves from one insolvency regime to another (it is difficult to extract this information from the published stats).
2.    Details of the time taken from the start of an insolvency process to its conclusion.
3.   Particulars of:

     (1)   the amount paid for the expense of the liquidation or other insolvency process broken down into main    
     (2)   the percentage of claim recovered from their security by:
            (a)   the holders of fixed charges;
            (b)   the holders of floating charges; 
     (3)   the percentage of claim distributed as dividend to:
            (a)   preferential creditors;
            (b)   ordinary unsecured creditors;
            (c)   deferred creditors.
    (4)   the percentage left for shareholders."

The statistics meeting will be held in the Insolvency Service’s London Offices at 21 Bloomsbury Street in January 2011.