Boost for Scottish business as decrees plummet

According to figures released today (July 17 2019) by Registry Trust, the number of decrees against Scottish businesses dropped by 28 percent in the first six months of 2019 (compared to HY1 2018 figures) – totalling 1,140, the lowest of any first half-year on record.

The total value of decrees against businesses in the first half of the year rose 27 percent to £9.4million. The average value of a business decree leapt 75 percent to £8,231, while the median, at £2,127, was up by 26 percent compared to the same period the previous year.

Though the total number of decrees against incorporated businesses dropped by 29 percent from the previous year’s figures, to 850, the total value of decrees against companies rose by 69 percent to £8.4million. The average value of a decree in HY1 2019 jumped 138 percent to £9,829 and the median increased by 45 percent to £2,235.

The total number of decrees against the generally smaller unincorporated businesses fell 23 percent on HY1 2018 figures, to 290 – a record first half-year low. The total value also dropped to a record first half-year low of £1million, down 58 percent compared to the same period of 2018. The average value decreased by 46 percent to £3,549, while the median value fell seven percent to £1,951.

During the first half of 2019, 9,310 debt decrees were registered against consumers, 29 percent lower than HY1 2018. There was a 33 percent decrease in the combined value of consumer decrees to £23.6million. The average value of all consumer decrees fell to a record first half-year low of £2,532, five percent lower than in the same period of 2018, and the median consumer decree increased by four percent to £1,325.

The number of small claims against consumers fell by 29 percent in HY1 2019 to 8,498, with the total value down to £13.1million, a 28 percent drop on HY1 2018’s record high figure of £18.1million. The average value of consumer small claims increased one percent to £1,537, and the median value rose by five percent to £1,213.

Ordinary cause decrees against consumers in the first six months of 2019 dropped by 33 percent to 812, compared to the same period the previous year. The total value fell by 39 percent to an all time first half-year low of £10.5million. The average value fell eight percent to £12,954, while the median value at £8,809 rose eight percent from 2018 figures.

Only 4.34 percent of decrees were marked as satisfied during the first half of 2019. This compared to the 13.88 percent of satisfied debt judgments in England and Wales, where satisfaction rates are far higher owing to legal differences. “Lenders are likely to take notice when a decree is satisfied” said Scotland chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE. “It would be helpful if advice agencies in Scotland helped clients to report it to us.”

He continued “The decree stats for both businesses and consumers are positive over this half year and give hope for a strengthening economy.”