marketwatch NEWS (TT Jun09 p4-6)

The deepening recession is taking a heavy toll on business, with a total of 4,941 UK companies either going into compulsory liquidation in the first three months of 2009 or opting for creditors’ voluntary liquidations (where shareholders agree to put the company into liquidation because it is insolvent).

Financial executives claim to be more focused than ever on planning and cost cutting, reports McKinsey, but a global survey of 591 executives by the consulting group, conducted during February and March, found little appetite among them for a radical restructuring of the finance function.

The combined pension scheme deficits of the FTSE 350 companies ballooned to an estimated £61bn at the end of March 2009, according to the latest quarterly pension deficit survey from consulting firm Mercer. The median scheme deficit of a FTSE 350 company now stands at £225m compared with only £40m at the end of March 2007.

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