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Company Insolvency Levels Up in Scotland but Personal Bankruptcy Rates Reach 14-Year Low

Date: Friday 6th May, 2016

The number of Scotland-registered companies entering insolvency during 2015-16 increased as compared with the prior 12 months but personal insolvency rates continued their downward trajectory.

According to the Scotland’s Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), there were 11 more Scottish businesses entering insolvency in the most recent year but the number of entries into personal bankruptcy and Trust Deeds is now at a 14-year low.

A total of 860 Scottish companies became insolvent or entered receivership in the year most recently assessed, with 229 of those instances recorded in the final quarter of the period.

Notably, the past few months saw a considerable rise in the number of Scottish companies carrying out solvent liquidations or what are otherwise referred to as members’ voluntary liquidations.

According to the figures, the fourth quarter of the year 2015-16 saw 358 Scottish companies enter liquidation while still being solvent operations, which is a figure up from 190 during the same quarter of the year before.

Meanwhile, the number of personal insolvencies recorded in final quarter of the financial year across Scotland fell by some 13.3 per cent as compared with the same period in 2014-15.

From the perspective of personal debt problems, Scotland and the AiB have been able to consistently report significant progress in bringing down the number of bankruptcies recorded nationwide on an annual basis.

There were more bankruptcies recorded in the final quarter of 2015-16 as compared with the third quarter but the figure for Q4 represents a fall of 42.7 per cent as compared with the same period of the year before.

Overall, last year saw a 44.9 per cent fall in the number of Scots entering bankruptcy, while the number of people entering protected Trust Deeds increased by 6 per cent over the 12-month period.

Protected Trust Deeds are a form of personal debt solution that are less serious than a full declaration of bankruptcy and which are a widely-used method of becoming debt free in Scotland.

The AiB has also reported an increase in the use of Debt Arrangement Schemes, which are not counted as a form of bankruptcy or insolvency but which establish the terms of repayment deals between indebted Scots and their creditors.

A total of close to £38 million is understood to have been paid back to creditors over the course of 2015-16 by individual Scots who have entered Debt Arrangement Schemes.

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