This publication series contains the latest monthly statistics on statutory debt solutions in Scotland. The statistics are compiled by Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), an executive agency of the Scottish Government, and are derived from AiB administrative records. Estimates for April 2020 to March 2021 are provisional until final validation that will be published on 28 July 2021.
Non-statutory debt solutions, where debtors make their own arrangements with creditors or enter informal debt management plans with a debt management firm, are not included in these statistics.
These statistics presented in this have been classed as ‘experimental’ - see below for more information on Experimental Statistics. The work programme has focused on user needs, completeness of the data collected and quality assurance processes.
|Edition||Release date||Bulletin||Tables||Next release|
|May 2021||09 June 2021||May 2021||May 2021||N/A|
|April 2021||12 May 2021||April 2021||April 2021||09 June 2021|
|March 2021||14 April 2021||March 2021||March 2021||12 May 2021|
|February 2021||10 March 2021||February 2021||February 2021||10 April 2021|
|January 2021||10 February 2021||January 2021||January 2021||10 March 2021|
|December 2020||13 January 2021||December 2020||December 2020||10 February 2021|
|November 2020||09 Devember 2020||November 2020||November 2020||13 January 2020|
|October 2020||11 November 2020||October 2020||October 2020||09 Decvember 2020|
|September 2020||14 October 2020||September 2020||September 2020||11 November 2020|
|August 2020||09 September 2020||August 2020||August 2020||14 October 2020|
|July 2020||12 August 2020||July 2020||July 2020||09 September 2020|
|June 2020||08 July 2020||June 2020||June 2020||12 August 2020|
|May 2020||10 June 2020||May 2020||May 2020||08 July 2020|
|April 2020||13 May 2020||April 2020||April 2020||10 June 2020|
|Financial year 2019-20||08 April 2020||2019-20||2019-20 data||13 May 2020|
Why this publication series is being published?
As the demand increases for statistics and data to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Accountant in Bankruptcy has had to change its data gathering and release practices, focussing efforts on priority analysis and statistics. In line with guidance from the Office for Statistics Regulation, on Friday 20 March 2020, the production and publication of the main quarterly Scottish Insolvency Statistics were temporarily suspended until further notice. This action was necessary due to an urgent shift of resource within Scottish Government to help manage immediate issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, AiB ensured that we continued to produce vital data and statistics needed to response to the impact of this COVID-19 pandemic on our economy and society. Therefore, the monthly publication series titled “Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions” was created for this purpose.
Since January 2021, AiB is currently publishing the quarterly publication series. Please note this publication series will be renamed as “Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics”. Please see the following link for further information on upcoming official statistics publications:
Meanwhile, Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) produces data and statistics to support decision-makers in Scotland and our trusted, impartial information is more important now than ever.
The COVID-19 outbreak is a significant challenge for the UK and we are working to ensure that AiB continues to produce vital data and statistics needed to respond to the impact of this pandemic on our economy and society.
This means we will need to ensure that information is provided faster, and we need to change how we produce and publish in order to ensure we provide the information necessary as the situation unfolds.
These changes to our work could affect the quality of some of our statistics, such as lower accuracy, or it could mean there is less detail available due to lack of resources.
Decisions will be made on a case by case basis, taking into account what information is currently relevant given the situation, with the three pillars of the Code of Practice for Statistics (Trustworthiness, Quality and Value) guiding our decisions. Giving everyone access to statistics at the same time remains a fundamental principle of the Code, but where this cannot be maintained we will be open and transparent about this and any other potential effects on our statistics.
- Since the COVID-19 outbreak in Scotland, it is expected that the number of awards of bankruptcy, protected trust deeds and approved Debt Payment Programmes under the Debt Arrangement Scheme may go down while comparing with previous figures. The subsequent monthly releases will confirm either way.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that if these numbers do go down, then these do not imply any information about the state of people's personal finance. In other words, it is not correct to interpret these as the number of individuals with problem debts being low.
A possible explanation is, during the outbreak, creditors may cease to chase debts, and there are lack of available approved money advisers and insolvency practitioners people required to meet in order to apply for any one of the statutory debt solutions.
- The data used in this release are not seasonally adjusted. We recommend to use year-on-year comparisons (for example April 2019 and April 2020 etc.) rather than making month-on-month comparisons.
What are 'Experimental Statistics'?
Experimental statistics are a type of official statistics that are undergoing development. This is the first time Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) has produced monthly statistics on statutory debt solutions where the experimental statistics label has been used with the aim for compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
Experimental statistics and the Code of Practice: Defined in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics - https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/code-of-practice/ - as ‘statistics undergoing evaluation and published to involve users and stakeholders in their development’. The Code promotes and supports the release of experimental statistics to involve users in their development at an early stage and achieve continuous improvement in statistical processes.
It is possible, however, that the statistics will not be fully compliant in all areas due to their nature as ‘data being developed’.
The statistics for individual insolvencies (bankruptcies and protected trust deeds (PTDs) and debt payment programmes (DPPs) under the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) are derived from administrative data of records processed within AiB and stored on the systems BASYS, ASTRA and DASH & eDEN respectively. The exception to this is creditor and trustee petition bankruptcies which are sourced from the courts that grant them and subsequently stored on the BASYS system.
Note DASH was decommissioned on 30 June 2019 and its replacement system, eDEN, went live on 1 July 2019.
Figures are produced from tabulation of raw data from relevant administrative systems for the number of bankruptcies, PTDs, and DPPs under DAS. The numbers of personal insolvencies reported are based on the date of the court order, agreement of the insolvency procedure or approval date. For creditor petitions, the published figures will be influenced by, for example, the late reporting of court orders which may lead to underestimating the number of creditor petitions awarded. Creditor petitions statistics are subsequently adjusted in the subsequent monthly releases until July 2021.
DPP under DAS statistics are based on the date the DPP was approved.
Revisions are usually made as a result of data being sent to AiB and logged on to the administrative systems after the cut-off date for data being extracted from the systems to produce the statistics. These revisions tend to be small in the context of overall totals.
From April 2020, scheduled revisions will occur every month (whenever possible), which will provide users with data in a more timely manner and improve the accuracy of provisional estimates as more information becomes available. On this release, all monthly data are given provisional status and labelled with ‘p’. These statistics will remain provisional until the data is finalised (i.e. no planned revisions) -- the date is to be confirmed.
Can figures in this publication series be compared with published statistics in Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics publications?
Please note that, prior to January 2021, the quarterly publication series was named “Scottish Insolvency Statistics”.
Figures for April 2020 to February 2021 presented in this release remain provisional until final validation in July 2021. Therefore, caution is needed when interpreting these figures.
With this caveat in mind, both sets of quarterly and annual figures can be compared. Detailed time-series data for the latest Official Statistics publication can be found in the following link:
An Experimental Statistics publication for Scotland
The figures released today are classed as Experimental Statistics though these were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics; they undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs.
Correspondence and enquiries
For enquiries about this publication please contact:
Ken O’Neill, Statistician, Accountant in Bankruptcy
For general enquiries about Scottish Government statistics please contact:
Office of the Chief Statistician
Telephone: 0131 244 0442
Complaints and suggestions
If you are not satisfied with our service or have any comments or suggestions, please write to:
The Chief Statistician, 2W, St Andrews House, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG
Telephone: (0131) 244 0302
If you would like to be consulted about statistical collections or receive notification of publications, please register your interest at: www.gov.scot/scotstat
Details of forthcoming publications can be found at: www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/ForthcomingPubs
You may use or reuse this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. See: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/