Updated: 13.12.2017 - Next update: 24.1.2018

Statistics Finland / Bankruptcies

Description of indicator

In Statistics Finland statistics on bankruptcies, instigated bankruptcy cases refer to bankruptcy petitions filed during the calendar year by enterprises, corporations, estates of deceased persons or private individuals.

Bankruptcy is an insolvency proceeding covering all the liabilities of the debtor, where the assets of the debtor are used in payment of the claims in bankruptcy. At the beginning of the bankruptcy the debtor loses authority over the assets. The court appoints an estate administrator to administer the bankruptcy estate and the assets of the debtor. The assets are liquidated and used in payment of the debts.

Monitoring the trends in bankruptcy statistics is important, because it enables significant information to be obtained about the number of companies, the level of investment, the vitality of working life, and economic development generally. In addition to general trends, the bankruptcy indicators can help in the analysis of company- and sector-specific economic conditions and highlight possible barriers and challenges to the development of the business sector. Monitoring the number of bankruptcies provides essential information about the development of society and employment, because the number of bankruptcies also reflects trends in the numbers of companies and jobs and thereby fluctuations in employment and citizens’ income level. In addition to the economic conditions of industry and the business sector, the trend in the number of company bankruptcies is also reflected, via spill-over effects, in national economic conditions.

In addition to boosting the vitality of the business sector and employment, society should maintain incentives for entrepreneurship by supporting the activity of new entrepreneurs through taxation and investments.

Business and industry should also have sufficient mobility and the ability to react to changing economic conditions by renewing and reprofiling their activity in a more profitable direction.

Between different sectors there is always a natural fluctuation in growth that shifts according to economic conditions and for which companies can prepare. Even so, the accelerated internationalisation of business activity and markets in recent years has increased and intensified competition and changed companies’ operating environments significantly. This has created new challenges for forecasting the productivity and growth development of various industries in business activity. National labour and industrial policy should also be able to recognise the signals produced by the private sector and thereby seek to anticipate future challenges while focusing and creating investments to activate businesses, but also targeting public aid sustainably at vibrant sectors and businesses.