A seasonal fall due to the Lunar New Year holiday has resulted in fewer people declaring bankruptcy last month than in January. But analysts said the number would rebound with the continued high unemployment rate and new credit information rules. A total of 2,640 people were granted bankruptcy orders by the court last month , down 17 per cent from the 3,193 in January - the highest monthly figure on record, according to the Official Receiver's Office. However, the February figure is more than 1.5 times the 1,000 recorded in February last year. Hong Kong Monetary Authority deputy chief executive David Carse said the monthly drop did not represent a rebound. 'The figures for the first week in March showed that the daily number of bankruptcies increased again,' he said. 'But I think that may be catching up after the holiday season because February was a short month.' The authority's figures released yesterday also showed 1,774 people applied for bankruptcy last month, down 15 per cent from January but up 6 per cent on February last year. Louis Tse Ming-kwong, director of VC CEF Brokerage, said the monthly drop was seasonal. He added that because of the New Year holiday, February was always a low month for bankruptcies. 'The high unemployment rate and gloomy economy is likely to lead to more people declaring bankruptcy, so there is likely to be improvement only in the second half,' Mr Tse said. The new privacy code, effective April 1, might also lead to more bankruptcies. Banks will be able to share more customer information, such as the number of cards held. Mr Tse said banks would tighten the issuance of credit cards to new clients. 'The days of using a new card loan to cover an old card are over.'