Nearly 50,000 businesses on ‘brink of collapse’ in UK: Report

George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.

The number of UK businesses on the brink of bankruptcy skyrocketed by more than a quarter at the end of last year amid a “debt storm” triggered by a series of interest rate hikes, a report from a group of insolvency specialists revealed, as reported by Russian TV network RT reported.

The latest ‘Red Flag Alert’ released by Begbies Traynor Group found that 47,477 firms in Britain were in “critical” financial distress in the final quarter of last year, as more companies struggled with inflation and borrowing costs.

The figure was a 26% increase compared to the 37,772 firms that reported a “critical” level of distress in the previous three months.

The surge marked the second consecutive quarter-on-quarter period in which critical financial distress has risen by 25%, the report noted.

A significant percentage of businesses facing these conditions are expected to enter insolvency over the course of the next year.

According to Julie Palmer, a partner at Begbies Traynor, soaring interest rates, “rampant” inflation and weak consumer confidence amid rising and “unpredictable” input costs have created a “perfect storm” for British businesses.

The Bank of England has steadily raised interest rates from 0.1% at the end of 2021 to the current 5.25% in an effort to tame inflation.

“Hundreds of thousands of businesses in the UK, who loaded up on affordable debt during those halcyon days, are now coming to terms with the added burden this will have on their finances,” Palmer added.

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