Start-ups increase more than a third

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START-UP activity picked up markedly in the first quarter, according to figures yesterday covering the four clearing banks north of the Border.

During the three months to 31 March, a total of 4,365 business accounts were opened with Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, Lloyds TSB Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland. The figure was 35.6 per cent up on the previous quarter and 8.8 per cent more than the same quarter last year.

The statistics are regarded as a guide to the business start-up rate, but do not capture all activity because accounts opened with other banks are not included. The data also does not distinguish between banking accounts opened by existing businesses and those set up by newly-established enterprises.

In Q1, 2,307 accounts were opened as a limited company, 1,712 as sole trader and 346 as a partnership.