Fewer individual, more business bankruptcies in 2008

  • Notable decline in personal and one-man business bankruptcies
  • More company bankruptcies
  • Largest increase bankruptcies in transport sector

The number of bankruptcies declined by over 14 percent in 2008 relative to the previous year. The number of personal and one-person business bankruptcies declined considerably, but the amount of bankruptcies of companies and institutions increased in 2008 according to the most recent figures published by Statistics Netherlands.

Last year’s decline is the result of a 31 percent decrease in natural person bankruptcies (including partnerships). The substantial decline is partly caused by amendments to the Act on Debt Restructuring Natural Persons introduced on 1 January 2008.

The number of company bankruptcies (excluding one-man businesses) amounted to 3,824 in 2008, an increase by nearly 7 percent relative to 2007. In particular during the last two months of 2008, the increase in company bankruptcies was considerable. For the first time since 2004, the number of company bankruptcies grew.

The number of business bankruptcies (excluding one-man businesses) grew across nearly all sectors in 2008. The most substantial growth was recorded in the sector transport, storage and communication (+28%). Within this sector, the bankruptcy rate increased dramatically in goods transport (+47%) relative to 2007.

The increase compared to one year previously was mild in the financial sector (+2%). In the last three months of 2008, the increase was particularly obvious.

The number of bankruptcies in the sector hotels and restaurants fell marginally (-2%) in 2008, mainly in the latter half of the year. This applied to both one-man businesses and businesses employing more than one person.