Scotland business

Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Livingston: insolvency hot spots

Scottish bank notes
Image caption Three Scottish towns had insolvency rates twice that of the UK average

Three Scottish towns have recorded the highest concentration of people going broke in the UK in 2010, according to information company Experian.

It said that in Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy in Fife and Livingston, in West Lothian, more than 80 people in every 10,000 became insolvent.

That was about double the average rate of the UK as a whole.

In Kirkcaldy, the rate was up 12% on 2009. In Glenrothes it increased by 20% and in Livingston it was up by 32%.

Experian said across the UK there had been an increase in insolvencies in certain middle-aged, middle class groups and among the skilled working class.

Although those dependant on benefits were the most likely not to be able to keep up with their debts - the rate of insolvency fell faster amongst the poorer groups than the national average.

However, in contrast, the three Scottish towns with the highest number of people going broke per head of population saw a sharp rise in the insolvency rate.

A spokesman for Experian said: "Whilst unfortunately we can't drill down any further to explain exactly why these towns are experiencing such high levels of financial stress, it is fair to say that serious life events such as redundancy or marital breakdown are major factors influencing credit defaults and ultimately insolvency."

Experian said there was a high level of insolvencies among young, single professionals and middle income earners just starting their careers.

Although they make up almost 4% of the population, they accounted for 6.36% of those unable to repay debt.

There was also an increase in those in the "industrial heritage" group going bust.

These are people approaching retirement who tend to live in communities historically dependent on mines, mills and assembly plants for work.

Simon Waller, head of collections at Experian in the UK and Ireland, said: "There are certain sections of society that continue to face ongoing difficulties.

"The recession hit different people and communities at different stages and some are finding it harder to shake off its effects."

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