MORE than 12,000 firms in Yorkshire faced ‘significant’ financial distress during the first quarter of the year, a shock survey has revealed.
Figures from insolvency experts Begbies Traynor showed that 12,255 were in dire straits – 21% up on the 10,130 companies similarly affected in the final quarter of 2009 and slightly higher than the 12,234 logged in the first quarter of last year.
The firm’s latest Red Flag Alert, which monitors the warning signs of companies in distress, showed that more than 160,000 firms in the UK were rated as having ‘significant’ or ‘critical’ financial problems at the start of 2010.
Between them, they owed more than £55bn.
Begbies Traynor, which has offices covering Huddersfield and Halifax, said the increase on the previous quarter was partly due to an rise in court actions by creditors.
The worst-hit sector in Yorkshire was construction with 26% of firms facing critical problems.
Companies rated as having significant problems were those facing a court action or were insolvent. Those rated as having with critical problems faced county court judgements of £5,000 or more and/or winding up petitions.