Companies in the north of England are more likely to fail than those in the south of the country, according to a report.
Trade credit insurer Euler Hermes has revealed that eight of the top 10 insolvency “hot spots” are to be found in the north.
The top spot was occupied by Darlington with an insolvency rate of 1.68% year-to-date, based on the number of business failures expressed as a percentage of the total businesses in the area.
Darlington had almost double the rate of its nearest competitor Manchester at 0.87%, according to findings.
Sunderland previously held the number one position but has seen its insolvency rate fall since June 2011, leaving it fifth in the table.
The first southern town to feature in the top 20 is Southampton in 12th place, which has an insolvency rate of 0.57%.
Sean Stone, manager of the special risks team at Euler Hermes, expects corporate insolvencies to continue to rise.
“With the Bank of England expecting zero growth this year and signs of an export-led recovery still some way off, we believe there will be more corporate insolvencies in 2012 than 2011.”
He added: “We also expect the general trend to continue, with higher insolvency rates in the north compared to the south.”
There were 11 new entrants to the top 50 league table published by Euler Hermes, including Aberdeen, Norwich, Doncaster and Exeter.
The firm said this was a sign that the economic malaise is not entirely restricted to the north of England.