BUSINESS insolvencies are at more than double their 2021 levels for the second month running, a trade body has warned.

Figures for April published by the Insolvency Service for England and Wales show a 115 per cent rise on April 2021.

The figure for March was 111 per cent up on March 2021.

READ MORE: Bosses are closing their businesses ahead of problems in the economy, says insolvency expert

R3, the trade body for restructuring and insolvency professionals, said the figures reflected the toll economic turbulence was taking on the business community, even though there was a six per cent monthly fall to 1,991.

Garry Lee, chair of R3’s Southern and Thames Valley region, including Hampshire and Dorset, said: “The monthly fall in corporate insolvencies has mainly been driven by a reduction in Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidations (CVLs).

“However, the significant year-on-year rise in corporate insolvencies has been driven by the fact that numbers for the CVL process have more than doubled since April 2021.

“This highlights the role the government’s support initiatives played in preventing the economic damage of the pandemic from translating into an increase in corporate insolvencies at that time.

“It also suggests that large numbers of directors lack confidence in their ability to continue trading in the current climate, and are choosing to close their businesses now rather than being forced to in the future.”

Mr Lee, who is an associate director at accountancy firm Smith & Williamson’s Southampton office, added: “The figures reflect the continued toll the current economic turbulence is taking on the business community.

“The boom many were hoping for when pandemic restrictions ended simply hasn’t happened as the UK has moved from one damaging set of economic stressors to another without any time to draw breath.”

April’s figures also revealed a fall in personal insolvencies, which were down 18.5 per cent on the previous month and 4.7 per cent down year-on-year at 9,409.

READ MORE: Debts of just £750 could trigger a winding-up petition after temporary help ends

But Mr Lee said: “These figures can’t hide the fact that many people’s finances are stretched to breaking point at the moment.

“Our advice to any individuals and business owners or directors in Hampshire and Dorset who are worried about their finances is to seek support from a qualified and regulated advisor, and to do it as soon as possible.

“Having that conversation at an early point is likely to result in a far better outcome than if you’d waited and the problem had spiralled.”