THE number of corporate insolvencies in Scotland fell below 2019 levels last year as government Covid-19 support measures provided a “lifeline” for businesses, according to new analysis.

KPMG’s restructuring practice said its analysis shows there were 466 company insolvencies in 2020 – down by 25 on 2019. The number of corporate administrations was relatively static at 56, up from 51.

UK head of restructuring Blair Nimmo said: “While the breadth and depth of support measures available have provided a vital lifeline to Scotland’s business community, these figures provide a distorted view of reality. At some point, rent and tax deferrals and loans will need to be repaid. The Job Retention Scheme will unwind. Weaning off these support schemes is going to be a massive challenge for many.”

KPMG said the impact of Brexit is also being felt. Nimmo said: “Some sectors are seeing an immediate impact on cash and liquidity. There have been early signs of disruption across supply chains, particularly on roads and at ports.

“This leaves some companies having cash tied up in stock, unable to be despatched to consumers, but with bills still to be paid and no obvious solution on the horizon.”