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Personal Insolvencies On The Rise In Scotland

29th July 2018

The latest statistics from Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) for the first quarter of 2018-19 show total personal insolvencies, which include both bankruptcies and protected trust deeds (PTDs), rose by 11.8% relative to the first quarter of 2017-18.

Bankruptcy awards are down 6.5% on the same period a year ago with 1,236 awarded for the first quarter of 2018-19, covering the period from 1 April to 30 June 2018. This figure is below the 1,322 awarded in the same quarter for 2017-18. There was a marked increase in PTDs, with 1,972 PTDs protected in the first quarter of 2018-19, up from 1,547 in the same quarter last year.

The Scottish Government's pioneering Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), which allows people to take control of their finances and repay their debts without facing insolvency or further action being taken against them, also showed a rise of 8.5% compared to the same quarter a year ago.

There were 648 debt payment programmes approved under DAS in the first quarter of 2018-19, compared with 597 in the same quarter for 2017-18.

A total of £9.5 million was repaid through the scheme in the quarter, similar to the £9.4 million the previous year.

Commenting on the latest figures, Accountant in Bankruptcy Chief Executive Richard Dennis said:

"While the number of individuals entering insolvency continues to be very much lower than 10 years ago, these figures clearly illustrate personal insolvencies remain on an upward trend from the first quarter of 2015-16.

"With consumer borrowing now surpassing the levels seen before the 2008 crash, we are leading an ambitious programme of reform to make sure the debt solutions offered by the Scottish Government remain relevant in today's society.

"In particular, changes expected to come into force this October will make the Debt Arrangement Scheme a much more accessible and flexible option for some people who otherwise may see no alternative other than insolvency."

The number of Scottish corporate insolvencies rose during the quarter from the same period a year ago. There were 245 total corporate insolvencies during the quarter, up from the 200 recorded in the first quarter of 2017-18. This number was composed of three receiverships, 145 compulsory liquidations and 97 creditors' voluntary liquidations.

Nevertheless, the 245 recorded during the first quarter of 2018-19 is down on the 259 reported in the previous quarter, Q4 of 2017-18.

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