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Scottish insolvency figures continue to fall


Scottish insolvency figures continue to fall

   24 April 2013

Figures released today show that personal and company insolvencies in Scotland have fallen for the third successive quarter of the 2012-13 financial year.  The Scottish Government’s Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) continues to be a viable option for Scots struggling with debt as numbers for the Scheme have increased by nearly 40 per cent from the previous year.

Official statistics from Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), Scotland’s Insolvency Service, show that personal insolvencies have decreased by 9.9 per cent on the previous quarter and by 28.8 per cent compared with the corresponding quarter of the previous year.  Personal insolvencies totalled 3,472 in the fourth quarter of the 2012-13 financial year.  The total number of personal insolvencies is the lowest since quarter four of 2007-08, which was the period before the Low Income, Low Asset (LILA) scheme was introduced.

The Debt Arrangement Scheme, the Scottish Government’s debt management tool, which allows people struggling with debt to pay back what they owe over a longer period, continues to be used as an alternative to personal insolvency.  Although the number of debt payment programmes approved under the Scheme has fallen slightly, down by 8.4 per cent on the previous quarter, there was a 3.7 per cent increase on the same quarter in the previous year.  This brings the total debt payment programmes approved in 2012–13 to 4,632 which is an increase of 39.6 per cent on the total approved in the previous year.

Data on corporate insolvencies shows that there were 143 notices of Scottish registered companies becoming insolvent or entering receivership in the fourth quarter of 2012-13 – a 22.7 per cent decrease on the last quarter and a 62.9 per cent decrease on the same quarter of the previous year.

Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing, who has responsibility for personal insolvency and debt management in Scotland, commented on the recent figures:

“I am pleased to see that personal bankruptcies have dropped for the third successive quarter this year.  This is reassuring news in these difficult economic times and shows that the Scottish Government is doing all it can to increase Scotland’s economic growth. 

“The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) continues to see an increase in approved debt payment programmes, following AiB’s efforts to raise awareness of schemes and their benefits.

“A Bill will also be introduced this summer which will contain provisions to reform the law of bankruptcy and will support AiB in delivering an even better service for debt advice, debt management and debt relief.

“This will help to ensure that the correct support is in place for people across Scotland who are facing financial and other challenges and that debt relief products are fit for purpose.”