Sharp increase in business insolvencies in Northern Ireland since Brexit

Figure higher than in any other comparable area of the UK, according to Creditsafe report

Belfast City Hall: the number of firms that have gone out of business in the North since the UK voted to leave the EU has increased by 114.3 per cent on an annual basis.

Belfast City Hall: the number of firms that have gone out of business in the North since the UK voted to leave the EU has increased by 114.3 per cent on an annual basis.

 

Northern Ireland has seen the largest increase in business insolvencies compared to the rest of the UK since the Brexit referendum, according to a report.

Research carried out by UK credit check specialist, Creditsafe, highlights that the number of firms that have gone out of business in the North since the UK voted to leave the EU has increased by 114.3 per cent on an annual basis.

According to Creditsafe’s UK Insolvency Index – which compares the total number of insolvencies in different parts of the UK in 2016/17 and 2018/19 – Northern Ireland is currently is top of the poll, well ahead of Greater London, where business insolvencies rose by 103 per cent and Yorkshire and Humberside where business failures jumped by 82.4 per cent.

The statistics show that in general the rate of insolvencies has increased across the UK over the last three years with companies like Jamie Oliver’s restaurant group and British Steel among the most high profile casualties.

But high street favourites like Debenhams, Patisserie Valerie and L K Bennett, have also fallen into an insolvency position which, according to Creditsafe, represents a point “where a business can no longer meet the financial obligations to its creditors and where business might be forced to liquidate its assets to pay off any outstanding debts”.

Cato Syversen, chief executive of Creditsafe, said the economic challenges surrounding Brexit are just among the key factors that have contributed to an increase in business insolvencies.

Mr Syversen is warning that in light of the trend towards increasing insolvencies smaller firms need to remain vigilant and “have a contingency plan in place” in the event that they could be impacted by a sudden closure of another business.

“In the past few years we have seen many big name brands suffer on the high street and the industries we are seeing hit the hardest are retail, food and construction,” he said.

According to Creditsafe the West Midlands, the East Midlands and Scotland were the least affected parts of the UK in terms of business failures in the last 12 months.