Year-on year figures show 5% increase in Scottish bankruptcies

Accountant in Bankruptcy’s (AiB) provisional figures published today for the financial year 2018-19 show there were 4,862 awards of bankruptcy compared to 4,644 during 2017-18.

Protected trust deed (PTD) numbers continue to fuel the increase in total personal insolvencies which include both bankruptcies and protected trust deeds in Scotland by 20.5%. Protected trust deed numbers last year saw 7,917 compared to 5,958 in 2017-18.

The latest statistics also show an increase in approved debt payment programmes through the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), the Scottish Government’s pioneering initiative allowing individuals to get back on track without entering insolvency.

Figures showed an increase of 9.7% approved DAS debt payment programmes with 2,544 awarded in 2018-19 compared to 2,318 last year.

DAS allows those in the scheme the opportunity to repay their debts and get back on track financially without fear of further action from creditors and relief from additional interest and charges on their debts.

The number of DAS debt payment programmes completed in 2018-19 was 1,687 which was a similar number to the 1,681 completed last year.

A total of £37.1 million was repaid through the scheme last year down slightly on the £37.6 million paid back in 2017-18.

There were 966 Corporate insolvencies in 2018-19 up from 884 last year.

Commenting on the latest figures, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said: “These figures highlight the challenging economic times we are facing with more Scots experiencing increased financial pressures.

“The ongoing uncertainty around EU exit, alongside the challenges of the roll out of Universal Credit, bear much of the blame.

“In this climate it is more important than ever that people encountering financial difficulty seek early advice and the appropriate solution. It is welcome to see an increase in the number of Scots accessing the Scottish Debt Arrangement Scheme which helps them to pay back their debts. Recent reforms to the scheme will also allow more individuals in Scotland to benefit from this initiative going forward.

“The Scottish Government urges those in financial distress to obtain money advice at the earliest possibility in order to take control of their finances and ensure the right debt solution is found to suit their circumstances.”