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Bank and Shop Closures

Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the number of (a) bank branches and (b) independent retail shops which closed in (i) Nottingham, South and (ii) the East Midlands in 2005-06. (79224)

The number of local bank branch closures is not available.

Value-added tax (VAT) deregistrations are the best official guide to the pattern of business closures. Data for 2005 will be available in autumn 2006 at www.sbs.gov.uk/vats.

VAT deregistrations in retail in 2004 for the parliamentary constituency of Nottingham, South and the Government office region of the East Midlands are shown in the following table. For comparison, registrations are also given.

Nottingham South

East Midlands

VAT Registrations in retail1

50

1,345

VAT De-registrations in retail1

35

1,420

1 Retail comprises Standard Industrial Classification 52.

VAT registration and deregistration data do not capture all business activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if their turnover falls below the compulsory VAT threshold, which has risen in each year since 1997. Similarly, businesses that deregister may not have closed. In the retail sector 63 per cent. of enterprises in the UK (200,000 out of 320,000) were registered for VAT at the start of 2004.