Insolvency Service “Estimate” 9,733 Companies in England, Wales and Scotland Entered Insolvency Between 1 May 2020 and 31 October 2021 with a Bounce Back Loan Owing

Here is a FOI Request that the Insolvency Service has just made public.

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Thank you for your email of 18 November in which you requested from the Insolvency Service:

  • Since May 2020 how many companies which had taken out a Bounce Back Loan facility have been declared insolvent?
  • how much is the total value of those outstanding BBLs?

Your request has been dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

I can confirm the agency holds some of the information that you have requested. The following information is not held:

  • Data on companies in Northern Ireland that have taken out a Bounce Back Loan (BBL) facility.
  • Data on companies that entered a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) that have taken out a BBL facility.
  • Data on the value of current outstanding BBLs.

Please note FOIA only applies to recorded information, it does not require public authorities to answer a question unless recorded information exists. Therefore, to answer a request FOIA does not oblige a public authority to create information if the requested information is not held.

From the data held by the agency I have identified an estimated 9,733 companies in England, Wales and Scotland that entered insolvency between 1 May 2020 and 31 October 2021 that had taken out a BBL facility. This includes companies that entered compulsory liquidation, creditors’ voluntary liquidation, administration, and administrative receivership.

Under section 16 of the Act (Advice and Assistance) you may find it useful to note:

The Insolvency Service (INSS) holds data on compulsory liquidations as sourced from the INSS internal administrative system. The remaining company insolvency data held by INSS used to compile this response was sourced from The London Gazette and the Edinburgh Gazette. Details of a company going into a CVA are not publicly announced in The Gazette official public records therefore CVA data are not held from this source. INSS does not hold information as recorded in the Belfast Gazette and therefore does not hold data for Northern Ireland from this source.

Data held by the INSS is routinely provided to the Cabinet Office (CO), who are acting as the data processor for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The data is used for analytical purposes and to identify corporate entities who have entered a formal insolvency procedure with an outstanding Bounce Back Loan.

Results are shared with INSS to enable forecasting and planning in relation to overall levels of insolvency in the BBL loan book for the purposes of allocation of resources to administer company liquidations and deal with associated investigation and enforcement. No data are exchanged regarding the values of outstanding loans. The latest period of data exchanged covers the period to 31 October 2021.

Note that the figure provided in this response is considered an estimate since there may have been companies that have taken out a loan that did not match with the loan data processed by CO. Additionally, there were 19 companies included within the figure provided that matched on company number but did not match on company name. Therefore, it is possible that these companies did not take out a BBL facility.

INSS separately holds company insolvency data as filed with Companies House which includes CVA cases. INSS does not have permission to forward these data to other Government departments for processing since it is only held for statistical purposes. These data are used to compile the agency’s published Insolvency Statistics for all company insolvencies, except for compulsory liquidations which are sourced from the Insolvency Service’s internal administrative system. The timings of the publication of Gazette notices and the registration of company insolvencies at Companies House may differ and therefore the numbers of insolvencies presented from each source for a specified time period may not align.

INSS does not routinely extract company insolvency data from The Gazette for Northern Ireland. Compulsory liquidation data for Northern Ireland are separately provided in aggregate form by the Department for the Economy and therefore could also not be matched with the BBL dataset.

Outstanding loan data is held by lenders, which is passed on to British Business Bank and is then subsequently shared with BEIS. This information is not shared with INSS.