The number of businesses going into liquidation in the south east has fallen by 10.8% in the last year, according to a new study from Experian. The UK as a whole has seen a fall of 9.4% compared with 2002.
There were 17,522 failures last year, down 1,825 on the previous 12 months. But Experian has suggested that the data is slightly misleading as new rules have made it easier for companies to avoid being liquidated. Under the rules, introduced last year, banks are no longer able to appoint a receiver - only an administrator, giving businesses breathing space from their creditors and preventing many shutdowns.
Experian's figures show that the number of firms going into administration spiralled 75% during the final quarter of 2003, reflecting the tough trading conditions still faced by many.
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