‘Incompetence or bad management’ of company directors causes 56% of corporate failures, while nearly 40% of businesses could have been saved if professional advice had been sought earlier, according to a poll of insolvency experts carried out by insolvency trade body R3.

R3’s President Steven Law commented:
“Regardless of the economic circumstance, no business will survive with poor management in place. I have seen a good workforce let down and sometimes laid off due to management which do not admit and correct their mistakes.”

R3’s research also reveals that a further 60% of insolvency practitioners think the UK’s insolvency regime is overly forgiving towards directors who fail and over half think all directors should receive mandatory financial education before they even open a business.

However, R3 members believe there are some lessons that can be learnt from the experience as 74% of insolvency practitioners believe corporate failure can drive directors to be more successful. A staggering 84% of IPs also believe it can heighten business acumen.

Steven Law concluded: “For some directors, the experience of failure can clearly drive them onto greater successes, but I would share concerns that the current regime is, if anything, too forgiving to directors who have failed. Clearly it would not be practical to educate every director before they are appointed, but there must be enough checks and balances to ensure that directors of failed companies should not put creditors and jobs at risk if they are allowed to repeat their mistakes."