24 May 2017

Fewer people in Scotland experience severe financial problems

Fewer people in Scotland experience severe financial problems

The number of people experiencing severe financial problems north of the border continues to drop, the Scottish Government has revealed.

Latest figures from the Accountant in Bankruptcy show that fewer Scots accessed statutory debt solutions in the first quarter of this year.

Total personal insolvencies, which include bankruptcies and protected trust deeds, fell by 3.9% compared to the preceding quarter.

Bankruptcies dropped by 0.4% to 1,112, while protected trust deeds dipped by 6.6% to 1,401.

But approved debt payment programmes under the Scottish Government-backed Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) did rise slightly to 531 from 529 . DAS allows debtors to pay their debts in full without facing insolvency.

Personal insolvencies in Scotland are reported to have more than halved since 2008-09.

Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy,  said: “The number of people falling into financial difficulty and having to seek debt relief has been falling steadily for some time?.

“These figures are the second lowest since 2005-06, at which time award of bankruptcy was reserved to the courts. Since then, access to bankruptcy for those facing serious financial difficulty has been simplified greatly and in this context today's figures highlight the low levels of personal insolvency we have in Scotland?.

“While we know better than to read too much into a single quarter’s figures in isolation, it is heartening to see this quarter reflects the long-term downward pattern."

The number of Scottish businesses becoming insolvent or entering receivership fell to 840 in the latest 12 months from 903 the year before - a decline of 7%.

Total corporate insolvencies in the latest quarter dropped by 26% to 155.

The Minister continued: “There is no question Scotland’s businesses continue to face a challenging and uncertain future and it is a great testament to how robust and resolute they are that numbers of companies being forced to shut their doors continues to drop.

“The fall in numbers this quarter, and indeed throughout the year as a whole, is welcome. However, we must remain vigilant in this respect and we will do everything in our power to ensure this trend continues, companies can flourish and we protect employment.” 

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