Business bankruptcies have more than doubled in the past year, according to professional body R3 for restructuring and insolvency professionals in Winchester.
Analysis of recently released figures for March 2022 by The Insolvency Service for England and Wales showed an increase of 111% on the same month in 2021.
Almost 500 more companies went into insolvency in March 2022 compared to the previous month, February 2022, with an increase in the number of administrators choosing to close their company.
Figures for England and Wales showed:
• Business insolvencies rose 39.4% in March 2022 to a total of 2,114 from February’s total of 1,517. They were up 111.6% from the March 2021 figure of 999. They were also 71.2% higher than March 2020 (1,235).
• Personal insolvencies rose 17.2% to 11,530 in March 2022 from 9,836 in February. They were 5.3% higher than the March 2021 figure of 10,953. They were also 47.2% higher than March 2020 (7,832).
Garry Lee, Chairman of the South and Thames Valley region of R3 including Winchester, said: “The numbers reflect the challenge businesses continue to face.
“The increase in business bankruptcies in March was driven by an increase in the number of voluntary creditor liquidations (CVL), a procedure initiated by the managers of insolvent companies to close their business, which was almost 40% higher than the previous month.
“This suggests that many business leaders have seen the increasingly difficult economic outlook in the short to medium term as something they will not be able to overcome and have shut down their businesses in advance.”
The monthly increase in personal insolvencies was driven by an increase in Individual Voluntary Arrangements and Debt Relief Orders (DROs).
Garry, associate director of the turnaround and restructuring services department at accounting firm Smith & Williamson, added: “Businesses and individuals in Winchester have barely had time to breathe.
“The intersection between the end of the pandemic and the increase in energy, fuel and food has hit finances hard, and the situation could become more difficult as the year progresses.
“Anyone who is worried about their finances – professional or personal – at Winchester is urged to seek help as soon as possible from a qualified and regulated adviser.
“Talking about money worries early gives you more options, more time to make a decision about your next move, and potentially a better outcome than if you had waited until the problem got more serious.”