July’s business insolvency figures continue 2013 downward trend

news release

July’s business insolvency figures continue 2013 downward trend

 Biggest drop in Yorkshire and West Midlands
But warning as larger companies see spike in insolvencies

Nottingham, 21 August 2013 – The latest Business Insolvency Index from Experian®, the global information services company, reveals positive news for the economy as the overall business insolvency rate fell to 0.08 per cent in July from 0.09 per cent in July 2012.

This is the third consecutive month that the rate has fallen year-on-year – the first time this has happened since 2010.  Although the rate is marginally higher than in June (when 0.07 per cent of the business population failed), the longer term trend shows a steady and continuing decrease in insolvency rates.  

Around the UK, many regions performed better than the same month last year. The insolvency rate either dropped or stayed level in nine out of 11 regions compared to July last year. Outside of Scotland, Yorkshire and the West Midlands showed the biggest yearly improvements. 

Looking at insolvencies by company size, there were no significant rises amongst smaller companies with up to 100 employees (representing the vast majority of British businesses). Within this group however, businesses with 50-100 employees saw the biggest drop in their insolvency rate from 0.16 per cent in July 2012 to 0.13 per cent in July 2013. Companies with 0-2 employees (representing over 1.5 million small companies) experienced a considerable drop in insolvencies; from 0.07% in July 2012 to 0.06% in 2013.

At the other end of the scale there has been another rise in insolvencies amongst the UK’s largest companies (501+ employees) from 0.08 per cent in 2012 to 0.15 per cent this year.

Max Firth, Managing Director, Experian Business Information Services, UK&I said: “A whole quarter of dropping insolvency rates is really positive news, but the fact that larger companies have seen quite a rise shows that we are not out of the woods yet, especially as this can trickle down the supply chain to smaller companies.

“Business owners need to remain vigilant and ensure that they have monitoring systems in place, however simple, to ensure they know the financial status of their customers and their suppliers and are able to act quickly if one of them gets into difficulty.”

Area statistics
Scotland maintained its low insolvency rate of 0.03 per cent for the eighth month running. Outside Scotland, companies in Yorkshire saw a drop in insolvencies compared to July last year from 0.11 per cent of the Yorkshire business population to 0.09 per cent – making this the eighth month that the region has seen a year-on-year fall.  A similar drop was seen in the West Midlands, from 0.11 per cent to 0.09 per cent.

Only companies in London and the South East showed a slight rise in their insolvency rate.

Sector view
Four out of the UK’s five biggest industries saw a decrease in their insolvency rate compared to July last year, with Building & Construction leading the pack with a fall from 0.17 per cent to 0.13 per cent in July 2013 – the ninth month of year-on-year falls for that industry. The IT industry showed another slight rise (from 0.06 per cent to 0.08 per cent). Other industries to have seen falls include Banking and Financial Services, Motor Traders and Food Retailing.

Julys Insolvency table 

Julys Insolvency table

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About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2013 was US$4.7 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

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