One in five UK clothing manufacturers are in financial difficulty according to credit reference agency ICC Credit.

ICC's findings are based on a samples from its database of over four million businesses, and identify the riskiest businesses in terms of insolvency, liquidation, receivership, administration or voluntary arrangements and those with bankruptcy filings, high court writs or county court judgements against them.

Clothing manufacturing was highlighted as one of the most likely sectors to be unable to fulfil financial obligations, coming second only to coal mining.

One in five, or 20.3 per cent, of clothing firms are experiencing severe financial difficulty ICC said.

Textiles firms fared slightly better, with 17.3 per cent of companies in financial trouble.

Matthew Debbage, head of product and marketing at ICC Credit said: "These results highlight the need for firms trading in the clothing manufacturing sector in particular to adopt adequate credit checking at the account opening stage, and monitor for adverse events thereafter."