More than 35,000 firms in the UK are expected to go bust this year -- equivalent to over 95 a day.
According to Begbies Traynor, the insolvency and restructuring group, the figure would be 18 per cent higher than during the previous peak in the 1990s crash.
Nick Hood at Begbies told The Sunday Times, he would not be surprised if the number rose to 40,000 by the end of the year.
According to him, about 125,000 people will go bust this year - well above the 107,000 peak in 2006 -- equivalent to 342 people a day.
Richard Goodwin, editor of The London Gazette, the newspaper of record that prints personal and corporate bankruptcy notices, said pagination had reached a record last month averaging 96 pages a day, up from 85 last year and 78 in 2007.
“The rate is accelerating - on a bad day we could see 20 businesses going under a day? Companies (you couldn’t imagine going bust) in the last recession are going to the wall this time round - a Chinese restaurant next to a university campus or a hairdressing salon,” he said.
“It feels much worse than the 1990s - there are much fewer options to rescue businesses today. In the past you could go to another bank or small-business owners could re-mortgage and use equity from their homes - today that is next to impossible.”