Two-thirds of all UK firms at risk of insolvency

Two-thirds of all businesses across the UK have a “low to severe risk of insolvency”, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Its latest Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey (BICS) found that 64% of companies across all industries are at risk of insolvency, with 43% having less than six months’ cash reserves. Some 14% of all UK businesses have already paused trading because of local lockdown restrictions.

Companies in the hospitality industry are at the highest risk of failing; 17% of all accommodation and food businesses are currently trading at ‘severe risk’ of insolvency. Seven per cent of all pubs, restaurants and hotels in the UK have zero cash reserves, latest ONS data showed.

Nine per cent of the entire UK workforce, and more than a quarter of the nation’s hospitality industry, were still on partial or full furlough at the beginning of the October, according to the ONS.

Firms working in the arts and entertainment have taken the biggest hit from the pandemic, with 30% of them currently not operating.

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