Company insolvencies jump in England and Wales in October

LONDON (Reuters) – Business insolvencies in England and Wales rose 18% in annual terms during October, official data showed on Tuesday, in a further sign of the tough economic environment facing many firms.

The Insolvency Service, a government agency, reported 2,315 company insolvencies last month, up from 1,954 a year previously and higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Insolvencies of individuals totalled 9,881, down 6% on a year ago but still the highest reading since May. The data are not seasonally adjusted.

Many businesses and households have come under increased pressure from rising interest rates and a sharp increase in the cost of energy and other necessities such as food.

“If the Christmas trading period doesn’t bring a wave of new income, we could see insolvencies continue to rise in the new year,” said Nicky Fisher, president of R3, an insolvency and restructuring trade body.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by David Milliken)