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Women are the most hit by insolvency says accountant firm

Date: (27 July 2012)    |    

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Older women are bearing the brunt of individual insolvencies, says Wilkins Kennedy LLP, the UK’s 21st largest accountancy firm. While the number of insolvencies in all other age and gender group fell, for women who are over 45 it rose in 2009-2011. With the exception of men aged over 65 which fell over that period.
According to the latest available data from the Insolvency Service, women have continued to close the insolvency gender gap too, 49% of individuals entering individual insolvency in 2011 were women, up from just 27% in 2001.
Anthony Cork, Partner at Wilkins Kennedy, says that the figures show that over the past decade women were the worst hit by insolvencies and in the past two years they were hit disproportionately. With the total number of insolvencies heading down, it was alarming that insolvencies for older women was heading in the opposite direction.
Wilkins Kennedy also says that there are now more women under 45 entering insolvency than men in the same age group for the first time.
Anthony Cork added that insolvencies for both men and women jumped up as the financial crisis began to bite in 2008, but while the number of insolvencies for men have begun to decline, the number of female insolvencies has remained persistently high. Women were catching men up in the worst possible way, even over-taking them in certain age groups.”
It was not entirely clear about the reasons but one reason could be governmental cuts with public sector having a high number of women and any job cuts or wage freeze in the public sector might have been the reason for the high numbers of women being seen as insolvents. This could become worse with further reforms yet to come he said.
In 2011 the percentage of individual women insolvents in the under-45 age groups was 29% compared to 28% in 2009. Wilkins Kennedy is particularly concerned by the growth in individual insolvencies amongst older women.
Anthony Cork says older age groups have less time to bounce back financially from insolvency before they reach retirement age. Getting back in to the jobs market can be tough too with older candidates for jobs might need to re-skill and risk of age discrimination too.
When you look at all the data, by age and by gender over the past decade, what’s noticeable is that the most persistently growing groups as a share of all individual insolvencies were older women. Even while nearly every other age group has had fewer insolvencies since 2009, insolvencies amongst women over 45 actually got worse.
From 2006-11, the share of all individual insolvencies represented by women over 45 has gone from just over 1 in 10 to just under 1 in 5.
There were 22,814 individual insolvencies involving women over 45 in 2011, representing 19% of all individual insolvencies in the year.
Insolvency types included in the data are: bankruptcies, Debt Relief Orders, and Individual Voluntary Arrangements.