Almost 400 Scottish businesses have gone bust so far this year, according to statistics released today by the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB).
The AiB received 385 notices of Scottish-registered companies becoming insolvent or entering receivership during Q1.
This was 37.5% higher than Q4 2011 and 30.9% more than Q1 2011.
Accountants PKF said the previous four quarters have contained the highest-ever quarterly failures on record with Q1 2012 posting the most insolvencies yet.
PKF corporate recovery partner Bryan Jackson explained companies are being forced to close as “they cannot see an end to the economic gloom”.
He said: “There will undoubtedly be businesses which have used up years of cash reserves to stay afloat but have now found they are unable to carry on due to the relentless lack of an upturn in the economy.
“What this means is that the Scottish economy has some considerable way to go before we start to see a glimmer of hope on the horizon.
“Last year’s record number of corporate failures unfortunately looks like being beaten by this year’s figures.”
AiB also reported 4,856 personal insolvencies during Q1 – a 4% increase on the previous quarter and a 14% increase on the same period last year.
This consisted of 2,609 bankruptcy awards – a 0.2% fall on the Q4 2011 – and 2,247 protected trust deeds – a 10% increase on the previous quarter.
Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing, commented: “Personal insolvencies have increased slightly this quarter due to an increase in protected trust deeds, although it is encouraging to see that, overall, bankruptcies have shown no increase compared to last quarter.”