Insolvency firms under threat

Link: Insolvency – down but not out

DTI figures show the number of companies that went bust in England and Wales in the final three months of 2003 fell by almost a quarter compared to the same period the previous year, down from 4,280 to 3,316.

Mike Oldham, corporate recovery partner at Robson Rhodes, said: ‘I imagine smaller firms specialising in the insolvency market will feel the decline significantly.’

But he believes that things could change dramatically if banks alter their currently optimistic economic forecasts and parallel policy of supporting companies that are in trouble. ‘Businesses had better keep everything crossed – not just their fingers,’ he said.

Keith Goodman, partner at insolvency specialists Leonard Curtis, said: ‘It’s a quiet spell and firms that have expanded in expectation of an upsurge may be forced to amalgamate, merge or close offices.’

The figures also held good news for firms specialising in personal bankruptcies, which rose to levels not seen since 1993.

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