6 Nov 2009

Soaring number of firms defaulting on loans

7:13 am on 6 November 2009

In a sign the recession is not over just yet, figures released by New Zealand's largest credit rating agency show a sharp rise in the number of businesses defaulting on loans and lines of credit.

Veda Advantage, which holds files on the entire commercial credit-active population in New Zealand, says there has been a rise of nearly 50% in business defaults.

Veda managing director John Roberts says that not only is the number of commercial defaults growing - so is the value.

In 2007 the average default for a small-to-medium-sized business was $3200; this year it has reached $9400.

The recession may be technically over, Mr Roberts says, but the bad times still have to feed through the economy, and it's too early to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

He says that a defaulting business doesn't necessary close down, but the low credit rating reflects badly on it and makes trading very difficult.

Veda Advantage holds credit behaviour files on all businesses and most individuals.