Sunday, April 14, 2024

R3 Midlands urges cashflow caution as latest government statistics show surge in insolvencies

The current surge in insolvent companies across England and Wales is likely to impact heavily on the Midlands economy over coming months, leading to further substantial rises in corporate insolvency levels across the region for 2024.

This is according to the Midlands branch of insolvency and restructuring body R3 and follows new statistics published by the Insolvency Service which highlight an 18.5% month-on-month increase in corporate insolvencies in February 2024, jumping from 1,774 to 2,102.

Last month’s number is also 16.7% higher than February 2023’s figure of 1,801, and 38.5% above February 2022’s total of 1,518. Compared to the pre-pandemic statistic of 1,213 in February 2019, February 2024 shows an increase of 73.3%.

R3 Midlands chair Stephen Rome, a partner at Penningtons Manches Cooper in the region, said: “These figures are the highest we’ve seen for February in more than four years, which is a sign that more and more businesses are at a point where a sale or a liquidation may be their only option.

“Local businesses are still suffering the after-effects of last year’s economic turbulence, with rising fuel, energy and funding costs and cautious consumer spending continuing to take their toll on the bottom line.

“While there is still some optimism among the region’s firms about what 2024 has in store, the economic conditions remain a key area of concern for many. Unless there is some improvement, we could see several more companies turning to an insolvency process to help resolve their financial issues.

“Directors and management teams need to remain vigilant and take action as soon as they spot any signs that the business could be financially distressed. Keeping that careful eye on cashflow, and acting immediately as soon as red flags are raised, gives more time for decision making and more potential options for resolving the situation.”

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