Scottish Diligence Statistics: 2019-20

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) has released experimental statistics reporting diligences executed and Charge for Payment served in Scotland for the financial year 2019-20.

Total diligences executed, for all warrant procedures and diligence processes, increased by 6.9% from 272,690 in 2018-19 to 291,405 in 2019-20.

The majority (82.7%) of total diligences executed in 2019-20 were served under the Summary Warrant procedure in respect of council tax debts. Diligences executed in respect of council tax debts increased by 0.6% when compared with the previous financial year.

For the Non-Summary Warrant procedure, diligences executed increased by 67.3% to 44,915 in 2019-20. The 2019-20 figure is, however, 3.1% lower than that reported for 2017-18 (46,365).

The largest number of diligences executed by Sheriffdom were granted in Tayside, Central and Fife followed by North Strathclyde. The number of diligences carried out decreased in two out of the six Sheriffdoms: Lothian and Borders (6.1%); Grampian, Highlands and Islands (24.6%). For the remaining four Sheriffdoms that saw increases in the number of diligences, the largest percentage increase was in Glasgow and Strathkelvin (39.1%).

The number of Charge for Payments increased from 260,835 in 2018-19 to 274,995 in 2019-20, an increase of 5.4%. The majority (77.0%) were served in respect of council tax debts.

The figures released today are classed as Experimental Statistics though these were produced in accordance with the professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.


A full statement of Scottish diligence statistics for the financial year of 2019-20 is available:

Experimental statistics are a type of official statistic that are undergoing development. Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) has previously published diligence statistics and this is the fourth year where the experimental statistics label has been used with the aim for compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

These statistics have been classed as 'experimental' and over the previous year a work programme to evaluate and improve the existing output has been undertaken. The work programme has focused on user needs, completeness of the data collected and quality assurance processes.

Official and Experimental statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland is available: