County court judgments against businesses in England and Wales rose four percent in the first half of 2019, according to figures released today (July 24) by Registry Trust.
Year-on-year numbers have risen for the past three years and in the first half of 2019 are 56 percent higher than 2016’s record low, for a first half-year, of 42,091.
However, the total and average value of business CCJs do not reflect this trend, having both dropped since 2018. The total value fell by 19 percent, compared to the same period of the previous year, to £202.2million, but is still up by 35 percent on 2016’s record HY1 low of £149.4million. The average value of an adverse business CCJ in the first six months of 2019 was £3,076, 22 percent lower than in the first half of 2018. The median value at £1,012 was two percent lower.
Within business judgments CCJs against incorporated businesses rose by three percent to 49,192, in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period of 2018. The total value decreased by 22 percent to £153.5million. The average value of a CCJ against companies fell by 25 percent compared to HY1 2018, to £3,120, though the median value dropped by just six percent to £902.
By contrast, in the first half of 2019 the total number of CCJs against generally smaller unincorporated businesses at 16,528 was up six percent from last year. This bucks a nine-year downward trend culminating in 2018’s record HY1 low of 15,540.
The total value of CCJs against unincorporated businesses, though still up on 2017’s HY1 record low of £40.7m, shows a return to the downward trend where total value has dropped annually since HY1 2010. In the first six months of 2019, the total value dropped by eight percent to £48.7million, compared to the same period of last year. The average value for unincorporated businesses fell 13 percent to £2,947, though the median increased by six percent to £1,259.
In the High Court 24 judgments were issued against businesses in the first half of 2019, 26 fewer than in the same period last year and matching 2017’s record low. The total value of High Court judgments was £17.8 million, a fall of 44 percent on 2018, the lowest first half-year on record. However the average value of a High Court judgment rose to £742,565 in the first half of the year, up 17 percent on the same period of 2018.Though varying slightly from year to year, there has been a general downward trend in number and value of High Court judgments for the first half of the year, since the highs of 2009/2010.
Mick McAteer, deputy chairman of Registry Trust said: “Registry Trust data is an important indicator of the health of the economy. The number of judgments against business has risen for the third year in a row and are more than 50 percent higher than 2016’s record lows. It is too early to draw conclusions about the health of the business sector but we will continue to monitor the data closely.”
Registry Trust is the Registrar of Judgments, Orders and Fines in England and Wales (on behalf of the Ministry of Justice). In addition, it collects, verifies and publishes judgment information from jurisdictions across the British Isles and Ireland.
It provides its licensed credit reference agencies with regular updates on outstanding judgment debts. This information affects the ability of all enterprises to borrow.
Registry Trust distributes judgment information under strict licensing to leading credit reference agencies, and makes information publicly available through TrustOnline.
There were 128,326 public requests to search the register for England and Wales online during the first half of 2019. TrustOnline allows anyone to search for judgments and similar information registered against businesses and consumers in jurisdictions across the British Isles and Ireland.