Judgments plummet as businesses thrive
The number of debt judgments recorded against businesses in England and Wales fell to a new half year low according to the latest statistics from Registry Trust.
Registry Trust is the non profit organisation which collects judgment information from jurisdictions across the British Isles and Ireland. In England and Wales it runs the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines for the Ministry of Justice, which includes county court and high court information. All judgment records are made available for the public to search at www.trustonline.org.uk. A judgment record held against a business or individual shows failure to pay and can therefore serve as a simple indicator of creditworthiness.
There were 53,795 county court judgments (CCJs) issued against businesses in England and Wales in the first half of 2014, ten percent fewer than in the same period last year and less than half the 111,633 judgments recorded in the first half of 2009. The total value of these judgments also fell to a new low of £194.0m, compared with a peak sum of £510.2m recorded in 2009. The average value of a business CCJ stood at £3,606 in the first half of 2014.
The record low judgment numbers applied to both corporate and non corporate businesses, the latter typically being smaller enterprises. There were 23,200 CCJs recorded against non corporate businesses – worth £78.7m – in the first half of 2014, well down on the peak year of 2009 when there were 51,765 CCJs worth £192.2m. Corporate businesses faced 30,595 judgments in the first half of the year, ten percent fewer than in 2013 and less than half the 64,868 judgments recorded in 2009. The total value of corporate CCJs fell 15 percent to £115.3m, a third of the sum recorded in 2009.
The figures were reinforced by the latest results from the Insolvency Service. There were 8,757 company insolvencies in the first half of 2014, down eight percent compared with the same period last year.
Introducing the statistics, Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE said: “The number of county court judgments against businesses has halved in the five years since the recession bit. The economy appears to be set fair.”
The number of high court judgments recorded against businesses in England and Wales also fell to a new low. There were 99 such judgments in the first half of 2014, the first time this figure has fallen into double digits since the recession. High court judgment figures tend to vary significantly due to their relatively small number and the larger sums involved.
In the first half of 2014 Registry Trust received 75,698 search requests in England and Wales, the bulk of which were made online via www.trustonline.org.uk. Through Trust Online anybody is free to search for judgments and other registered information against businesses and consumers in any jurisdiction in the British Isles and Ireland.