Suzanne Brooker discusses challenges and solutions amidst rising business insolvencies in the Raconteur special report on the Future of Finance, featured in The Times

3 January 2024

In a thought-provoking commentary featured in The Times as part of the Raconteur special report on the Future of Finance, Restructuring and Insolvency Partner Suzanne Brooker sheds light on the significant rise in business insolvencies in 2023.

The article, written by Jonathan Weinberg, explains that despite the UK avoiding a technical recession in 2023, trading conditions remain challenging, which led to a 14% increase in company insolvencies in the first 10 months of the year compared to the same period in 2022.

Suzanne cites factors for this and explains that “Government support loans have become due for repayment at a time when their operating costs are high, while their options for refinancing are limited and expensive”.

Despite the challenges, it is noted that lenders are better at identifying warning signs compared to the 2008-09 financial crisis, with insolvency professionals being brought in sooner. Suzanne warns, however, that “the credit approval process for increasing facilities and granting new ones is, understandably, conservative and will remain so.”

The article predicts a continued upward trajectory in restructuring activity in the coming year, which Suzanne suspects may lead to some “banking distress, particularly at the challenger level”. Drawing on her extensive experience in supporting clients through restructuring and insolvency, she advises any business in difficulty to seek expert help “as quickly as possible”, reassuring that “the options open to a company that communicates early are far wider than those open to one that tries to manage its financial distress alone”.

You can read the full article on page 15 of the Future of Finance report, available here. Please note that a free sign-up is required.


Suzanne Brooker
Partner - Restructuring & Insolvency, Construction
Suzanne Brooker is a Partner Solicitor at Spencer West. She has in advising on all aspects of distressed situations whether transactional or contentious, cross-border or domestic.