The number of companies declared insolvent fell during February, according to new research.

A total of 1,834 firms went insolvent during the month, 15 per cent fewer than in February last year, according to business information services group Experian.

The group said the fall brought the overall rate of insolvencies down from 0.11 per cent to 0.1 per cent.

But it added that this was an increase on January’s insolvency rate of 0.08 per cent, although January is typically a quiet month for insolvencies.

Rolf Hickmann, managing director of pH, an Experian company, said: “Small businesses have far more flexibility than any other business type.

“It is easier for smaller businesses, with just one or two employees, to easily make adjustments to their operations and pull in the reins when times are difficult.

“For larger business, there is the security that comes with size and a well-established structure, so insolvency rates among these business types are also low.

“However, mid-sized businesses, which are seeing the highest rates of insolvencies, are too large to be flexible and too small to rely on a strong and established structure.”

The North East suffered from the highest rate of insolvencies, with 0.15 per cent of businesses in the region failing during the month. However, it also had one of the biggest improvements in insolvency levels.

Unsurprisingly, London had the highest number of insolvencies by number, with 452 companies going under in February, up from 428 12 months earlier, followed by the North West at 245, while Wales had the lowest level at just 45 companies.