of UK businesses in July was marginally higher than the 80.61 recorded in July 2009, and up slightly on June 2010 (80.83). However, it remains down on the 12 month high of 81.37 recorded in December 2009.
All business segments bar the largest companies (501+ employees) saw insolvency rates fall year-on-year, with the biggest improvements being amongst 101 – 500 employee companies. This segment saw 30 insolvencies in July 2010, 56 per cent fewer than in July 2009.
Max Firth, Managing Principal of pH, an Experian company, said: "July’s data indicates that the SME population is faring much better in terms of insolvencies than it did this time last year, however, increasing failures at the top end of the market demonstrates clearly that there is a still a great deal of uncertainty. Given this ever changing picture, it is vital that organisations ensure they understand and proactively manage the risk that those they do business with exposes them to."
Other key highlights include:
All regions saw year-on-year falls in insolvency rates, with Scotland overtaking the South East as the region with the lowest rate of insolvencies (0.05 per cent).
The North East and Wales saw the biggest improvements with insolvency rates halving over the last year. 0.09 per cent of businesses in the North East failed in July 2010, compared to 0.17 per cent in July 2009, while Wales saw rates decline from 0.14 per cent to 0.07 per cent.
Improvements in the North East meant that it is no longer the worst performing region. Yorkshire experienced the highest rate of insolvencies (0.13 per cent) in July 2010. Despite this, the financial strength of Yorkshire’s remaining businesses did improve the most of any region year-on-year, from 79.26 in July 2009 to 81.01 in July 2010
Greater London continues to be the region where businesses had the lowest financial strength score at 79.75.
The largest companies, those with 501 or more employees, was the only size business to see an annual increase, with the insolvency rate leaping to 0.17 per cent from 0.11 per cent in 2009.
The financial strength of businesses in the leisure and hotel industry rose from 77.95 in July 2009 to 78.97 – the biggest improvement of any sector.
Businesses in the oil industry held the highest financial strength score during July – 85.69.