Companies struggling to receive payments from clients and customers outsourced £1.145bn to debt collections agencies in the three months to September, new figures reveal.
Publishing statistics for the first time, the Credit Services Association (CSA), which represents the UK debt collection industry, said the figure was a 12% increase on the previous quarter when £1.021bn was outsourced.
The rise was even more compared to the £0.928bn recorded in last three months of 2011.
The volume of debts also increased from 595,901 in Q2 to 616,078 in Q3.
Michelle Moore, from the CSA, said the figures show that the use of third-party debt collection agencies has become an "integral part" of companies' credit management strategies.