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The Insolvency Service is in a difficult position because, although nobody wants business insolvency rates to be higher than necessary, the fees generated by the process are a key source of funding for the Service itself.

Over the past four years, business insolvency rates have fallen by 25%; however, the latest figures show the Insolvency Service is still performing better than its targets.

This is significant for individual workers affected by corporate insolvency, as it has an effect on the processing of redundancy payments.

In the latest annual report for 2013-14, laid in Parliament last week, the Insolvency Service revealed it has processed more than 75,000 redundancy claims in the past year.

Investigations led by the agency have resulted in compulsory winding-up orders in 168 instances deemed to be in the public interest.

And 1,273 directors have been disqualified – resulting in an average ban of six years preventing those individuals from running future companies.

Insolvency Service chief executive Dr Richard Judge said: “We achieved over 1,200 director disqualifications with each having a net benefit to the economy of £100,000.

“Redundancy payments were processed ahead of target helping people to move on in what is usually a difficult time.”