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  • Tuyen Osborne, Registry Trust

Monday, 17th July 2023

This month we are reviewing the non-corporate judgment data from England and Wales for the first quarter of 2023. Both the number and value of judgments have increased in comparison to Q1 2022. The number of non-corporate judgments increased 10.14% compared to the same period last year, from 6,549 to 7,213. The total value of debt against these businesses increased dramatically from £23.8 million to £45.9 million as compared to the same period last year, an increase of 92.63%.

The last two years have seen businesses and consumers operating under worsening economic conditions with the inflation rate increasing from 0.9% (Q1 2021) to 5.5% (Q1 2022) to 9% (Q1 2023) (CPIH Data). Interest rates have also risen from 0.5% in Q1 2022 to 4% in Q12023 (BoE IRs). SMEs, including non-corporate entities, rely upon credit for funding, but ‘Business Matters’ reported a reluctance from banks to lend to SMEs when interest rates started rising.

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All of these factors are compounded by additional economic stressors. Consumers have less disposable income, business owners are struggling with increased operational costs, and consumer confidence is declining. In the absence of a reversal of economic trends, increases in both the number of CCJs and total value of debt will likely continue.