The number of debt judgments against businesses in England and Wales in the third quarter of 2016 fell for the seventh consecutive year, according to figures released by 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 operates the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. A judgment is incontrovertible proof of unmanaged debt.

There were 19,379 county court judgments (CCJs) against businesses in England and Wales during the third quarter of 2016, a year on year fall of 25 percent. The total value of CCJs was £71.5m, down 12 percent. While the total number and value of CCJs fell to their lowest level since before the financial crisis, the average value rose 17 percent to £3,686, the first rise in average value for four years. These trends were consistent between CCJs recorded against corporate and the generally smaller non-corporate businesses, though the former represents the bulk of the figures.

The High Court issued 26 judgments in Q3 2016, to a total value of £26.3m. The average value of a High Court judgment was just over £1m, the highest third quarter average on record. “These last pre-Brexit figures show businesses in good shape,” said Registry Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE. “Over the rest of the year we shall see how businesses and their creditors are reacting.”