According to figures from the insolvency service, there is a 31% increase in the number of Directors banned for fraud.

In parallel, the number of directors disqualified at insolvent companies where directors have been implicated in various financial crimes, are up 72%.

Edward Starling, partner at Wedlake Bell, said: “We are starting to see an increase in fraud and I expect to see much more of it. It is well known that fraud follows a recession and it will take years to work this through. Without a doubt, this is going to get worse because there is a long delay between when companies go down and these things are discovered.”

The data shows that 91 companies were banned for financial crime, as directors try to exploit the company’s situation for their own benefit.

Company insolvencies are soaring – insolvencies rose to 4,941 in the first quarter of the year – representing a increase of 7.1 on the last quarter of 2008.

Constructions and manufacturing companies were hit the hardest, with a rise of 50% and 23% respectively.