The number of people going bankrupt in the UK remained at an 11-year high during the first three months of the year, figures showed today.
Data from the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) showed 10,294 people in England and Wales became insolvent in the first quarter – 0.5% lower than the previous three months but still 26.8% higher on the same period a year ago.
At the same time, the DTI said the number of companies that became insolvent fell to 3,155, 4.6% fewer than the three months to the end of December and a 14.3% drop on the same quarter of 2003.
The figures come a day after the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee raised interest rates by 0.25% to 4.25%, a move which is likely to increase the pressure on people already troubled by debt.
The DTI said the figures for individuals represented the highest first quarter since 1993, when 10,942 people went bankrupt, although it added that the 1993 figure was not seasonally adjusted.
The figures for the last quarter of 2003, only marginally worse than today’s statistics, were the highest since 1993.