There are growing signs of a North/South divide in the rate of business failures in England, according to new research. The latest study by Experian shows that in terms of insolvency figure rates businesses in the South are faring better than those in the North, with the number of business failures decreasing in London and the South East between October and November but increasing in the North East, North West and Yorkshire. A total of 1,736 businesses failed in the UK in November, with the North West topping the table for highest insolvency rates, with 0.14% of businesses in the region, a total of 265, failing. In the North East, 0.12% (49) of businesses failed and in Yorkshire 0.11% (134) failed. The South East registered a failure rate of 0.07% (230), with the South West (121) and Greater London (371) both registering rates of 0.08%. Figures for Scotland show that while the number of insolvencies is down by 6.9% since November 2010, the percentage of the business population failing remains unchanged from last November's 0.07%, suggesting that the number of businesses have probably decreased. Across the country, there was a small month-on-month improvement in the rate of business insolvencies, from 0.10% in October to 0.09% in November. Out of the UK's business population, this represents 1,736 firms failing in November. At the same time last year, the insolvency rate was 0.07%. Of the five biggest industry sectors - business services, building/construction, property, IT and leisure/hotels - property was the only one that saw its insolvency rate improve year-on-year, from 0.07% in November 2010 to 0.06% November 2011 The average financial strength of businesses throughout the UK deteriorated by 0.5% to 78.07, while in the same period last year it stood at 81.31. Smaller businesses, with between three and 10 employees, incurred the greatest hit to their financial strength in the last year with an average score of 81.80 in November 2010 falling to an average of 81.04 in November. Max Firth, managing director for Experian's Business Information Services division in the UK & Ireland, said: “The latest insolvency index highlights that some businesses continue to need to assess the risk strategies they have in place very carefully. “They need first to understand the risks they are exposed to and then protect themselves from debt that could be detrimental to their business on a regular ongoing basis.”