Credit insurer says the Netherlands will be hit by a wave of bankruptcies in 2020


Credit insurance company Atradius expects the Netherlands to be hard hit by bankruptcies next year, when the effect of government support starts to wear off.

Atradius said it expects a 34% rise in the number of bankruptcies in 2020, second only to Portugal within the eurozone, even though the ‘economic contraction is smaller than in most other countries.’

Unlike countries such as Spain, France and Belgium, Dutch bankruptcy law does not allow speedy intervention if a company gets into difficulty, Atradius said. Pending changes to the bankruptcy legislation will make it ‘easier to force a company restructuring upon creditors, which may lead to fewer bankruptcies’.

At the same time, Atradius said, the Dutch government’s support schemes have been relatively effective and the situation would have been much worse without them.

So far, coronavirus has not had a discernible impact on the Dutch bankruptcy rate. By mid August, 2,320 companies, and sole trading operations went bust, down 138 on the same period in 2019.

The government has also made it clear that it expects some firms will go bust when changes to the support packages come into effect towards the end of this year and into 2021.

National statistics office CBS is due to publish its most recent bankruptcy statistics on Thursday.

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