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Rising insolvencies reflect ‘challenging times’ but raise questions on regulation too

​Money Advice Trust comments on Q4 Insolvency Statistics.

The Insolvency Service has today published insolvency statistics showing there were 99,196 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in 2017 – a rise of 9.4 percent on 2016.  One in 467 adults (0.21 percent of the adult population) became insolvent in 2017, up from 507 in 2016.

The rise was driven by significant increases in individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) for a second year running.
Jane Tully, director of external affairs at Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said:
“We have now had two consecutive years of significant growth in insolvencies, and this trend is of course a cause for concern.  Today’s figures reflect the challenging times many households across the country are facing.
“At the same time, the fact that this rise is being driven solely by an increase in individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) is inescapable. 
“We remain concerned that IVA products are being sold that are unsuitable for people’s circumstances – and believe that the lead generation companies that are a big part of this problem should be brought under the Financial Conduct Authority’s regulatory regime and robust practices put in place to ensure people are provided correct information.
“We would encourage anyone struggling, or who is concerned that they are one bill away from falling behind, to seek free debt advice as early as possible. The first step of contacting a charity run service like National Debtline can make a huge difference in helping to resolve a difficult situation.”
National Debtline offers free, independent and confidential debt advice at
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