Chris Tate, a restructuring and insolvency partner at Azets, has spoken out about the situation in England and Wales. 

Mr Tate has noted that company insolvencies in England and Wales last year hit 25,158; the highest annual number since 1993.

Mr Tate said: "February 2024 saw 2,102 corporate insolvencies, 17 per cent higher than in February 2023 (1,801) and 38 per cent higher than two years ago, 1,518 in February 2022.

"There were 217 compulsory liquidations and 1,707 Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidations (CVLs), both higher than in February 2019. 

"Compulsory liquidations are holding at record high levels, and we may see a further increase as creditors continue to lose patience and seek to improve their own working capital through proactive pursuit of debt.

"Despite the UK economy returning to growth this week, the 0.2 per cent increase won’t offset the absence of a post-Christmas boost many business owners were hoping for. 

"The forecast remains bleak for companies waiting for the economy to turn a corner. We predict another difficult year ahead for, with business owners forced to make tough decisions. Taking early advice is critical to protecting as much of the business as possible, ensuring a trading entity can emerge and avoiding the total loss of jobs."