LONDON (Reuters) - The number of English and Welsh companies falling into financial distress rose sharply in early 2019, according to official data published by the government on Tuesday.
There were 4,187 underlying company insolvencies in the first quarter, up from 3,938 in the fourth quarter, the Insolvency Service said, citing seasonally-adjusted data that exclude "bulk" closures of personal service companies.
Most of these were creditors' voluntary liquidations, when shareholders of an insolvent company decide to close their company.
The number of companies entering administration, where accountants take over the running of an insolvent company to protect creditors, rose to a five-year high in the first quarter, the Insolvency Service said.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)