Record number of bankruptcies in 2009

  • 10,559 bankruptcies in 2009, 54 percent increase on 2008
  • Most substantial increase in manufacturing industry in 2009: +121 percent relative to 2008
  • Proportionally, Flevoland had the highest bankruptcy rate: 11 per 1,000 businesses 

More than 10.5 thousand bankruptcies were filed in 2009, the highest number ever in the span of one year. In the previous record year 2005, 10 thousand businesses were declared bankrupt.

The bankruptcy rate was particularly high in the first six months of 2009.

Overall, the bankruptcy rate was 54 percent higher than in 2008, when 6.8 thousand bankruptcies were registered. The increase is chiefly attributable to a firm increase in the number of corporate bankruptcies, but the rate also rose among natural persons and one-man businesses, according to the latest figures published by Statistics Netherlands.

More businesses and institutions bankrupt

The number of businesses and institutions declared bankrupt (excluding one-man businesses) amounted 7.0 thousand in 2009, an increase by 82 percent relative to twelve months previously (3.8 thousand bankruptcies). The number of bankruptcies among natural persons grew from 2.2 thousand in 2008 to 2.5 thousand in 2009 (+14 percent). Last year, 1.0 thousand one-man businesses – among them many zzp workers – bankrupted, i.e. an increase by 31 percent relative to 2008 (0.8 thousand bankruptcies). 

Business services, trade and repairs hit hard

The largest number of corporate bankruptcies in 2009 occurred in business services (1.8 thousand). Many temp agencies, secondment agencies, management consultancy agencies and ICT companies went bankrupt.

With 1.6 thousand, the number of bankruptcies in the sector trade and repairs was also above average. The sector comprises wholesale in clothing, building materials and machinery, DIY shops, home furnishing shops, clothes shops and car dealers and service stations.

Relative to 2008, the bankruptcy rate increased most rapidly in manufacturing industry (+121 percent), followed by business services and renting and leasing (+100 percent) and financial institutions (+84 percent). In the financial sector, the bankruptcy rate was high among  financial holdings.

Flevoland: 1 in 100 businesses bankrupt

The number of bankruptcies per province relative to 2008 has increased most in Gelderland (+109 percent) and Utrecht (+104 percent). The smallest increase occurred in Groningen, where the number of businesses declared bankrupt rose by 38 percent compared to one year previously.

With 10.8 bankruptcies per 1,000 businesses, the highest corporate bankruptcy rate in 2009 was recorded in the province of Flevoland, as against 7.1 per 1,000 in 2008. Just like in 2008, the province of Zeeland had the lowest bankruptcy rate (3.3 per 1,000).