Firms turn to CCJs to check creditworthiness

Business people are increasingly turning to county court judgement data to gauge a prospective supplier’s creditworthiness, new figures from an official body suggest.

Data from the Registry Trust, which keeps track of CCJs for the Ministry of Justice, shows that 23,744 searches were run on its public database between July and September.

That’s compared to almost 19,000 searches carried out in the same period in 2010, meaning the online scrutiny of firms in England and Wales for courts data is up by 25% (year-on-year).

The increase comes after the reliability of credit agencies to rate creditworthiness was questioned by a study showing huge variations between the limits they would recommend.

However, the growth could be due to the online search facility being developed to include data from Tribunals, the trust pointed out, which went live in Q1 (when searches peaked at 23,832). 

Despite this, the value of CCJs against business has increased from £158m in Q1 to £162m in Q3 - when they were 36, 876 judgements. Their value is also up 6.4% against the same period last year.

For Malcolm Hurlston, Registry Trust chairman, the overall dataset is proof that credit appears to “becoming ever-tighter.”

Although it seems individuals are already heeding his advice, he recommended: “Businesses should arm themselves with as much data on the creditworthiness of their supply lines as possible.”


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