…a little classic rock reference there for all our listeners at Radio PCR!

It’s that time of year and the “Stattos” of the Insolvency Service have just published their latest data on company and individual insolvency for the period April to June 2015. Of course, with stats, the devil is in the detail but it will come as no surprise that there continues to be a decline in the number of corporate and individual insolvencies. Company insolvencies have been on a decreasing trend since 2013 and were at the lowest level since Q4 2007 which was just before the start of the 2008 recession.

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Is this just an inflammatory headline or does it reveal a long standing issue that has been predominantly ignored to date.

This was the headline that was published by EN for Business on 10 August 2015 following a survey conducted by Tungsten Corporation which found that of 1,000 companies surveyed, 23% claimed that late payments had put them at risk of closure. At present our milk producers are fighting the supermarket chains to attempt to achieve a price for milk above the cost of production, I can’t see a situation arising where the farmers have chosen to accept a below cost price without significant commercial pressure being applied.

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Following delivery of George Osbourne’s new budget, there has been widespread concern regarding the fact that HMRC is to be furnished with new powers to seize debts directly from our bank accounts.

Many have gone so far as to say that the policy is tyrannical and deprives us of our right to dispute unpaid tax claims set out on the Magna Carta. However, whether these powers pose a serious threat the solvency of individuals and businesses seems somewhat unclear.

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Bank lending to businesses is expected to rise this year for the first time since the financial crash of 2008 according to the EY Item Club.

Bank lending peaked at £575bn in 2008 but declined each subsequent year.

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They have historically had a disproportionate amount of press when the economic impact of such procedures is taken into account. Indeed Teresa Graham, who was commissioned by the government to look into this process has been quoted as saying that they “do not amount to a row of beans”

However they continue to receive a lot of attention as they are an easy target and very easy to criticise as they appear to be non-transparent, allowing unscrupulous directors and shareholders to shed liabilities and to continue the old business under a “new entity”.

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