Company insolvencies have fallen to the same rate as this time last year, according to new figures from Experian, the business information group. It said that the overall percentage of company failures dropped from 0.11% in December to 0.07% in January, the same rate as January 2011. The fall in the UK's insolvency rate was led by businesses employing between 101 to 500 employees. Failure rates among these mid-sized firms fell from 0.21% in December to 0.10% in January. Yorkshire achieved the highest reduction in the percentage of firms failing, with a fall from 0.15% to 0.09% from December to this January. Max Firth, UK managing director for Experian's Business Information Services division, said: “The fall in the overall rate of insolvencies has taken it back down to the level it was at a year ago, which is certainly positive. January generally tends to be a good month, with many businesses benefiting from the Christmas trade. “When coupled with steady improvements in the underlying financial strength of businesses, it means that we can entertain some cautious optimism for the months ahead. The latest data has, however, revealed an increase in the rate of insolvencies for the largest firms. "This highlights that, despite a positive start to 2012, businesses of all sizes still need to understand the risks they are exposed to and have strategies in place to protect themselves.”

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