Personal insolvencies in Scotland up by 5%

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The number of personal insolvencies in Scotland rose by 5% in 2018-19, news figures show.

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) reported there were 4,862 awards of bankruptcy compared to 4,644 during 2017-18.

PTDs rose year-on-year from 5,958 to 7,917. A PTD is a legally-binding arrangement where those in debt can make reduced payments over four years.

The statistics also show an increase in approved debt payment through the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS).

This is the Scottish government's initiative which allows individuals "to get back on track without entering insolvency".

Figures showed an increase of 9.7% approved DAS debt payment programmes, with 2,544 awarded in 2018-19 compared to 2,318 the previous year.

The number of DAS debt payment programmes completed in 2018-19 was 1,687 which was a marginal increase on the 1,681 completed in the previous 12 months.

A total of £37.1m was repaid through the scheme last year - down slightly on the £37.6m paid back in 2017-18.

There were 966 corporate insolvencies in 2018-19, which was up from 884 on the previous year.

Financial pressures

The Scottish government's business secretary Jamie Hepburn said the figures highlighted "the challenging economic times we are facing with more Scots experiencing increased financial pressures".

He added: "The ongoing uncertainty around EU exit, alongside the challenges of the roll-out of Universal Credit, bear much of the blame.

"In this climate it is more important than ever that people encountering financial difficulty seek early advice and the appropriate solution.

"It is welcome to see an increase in the number of Scots accessing the Scottish Debt Arrangement Scheme which helps them to pay back their debts. Recent reforms to the scheme will also allow more individuals in Scotland to benefit from this initiative going forward.

"The Scottish government urges those in financial distress to obtain money advice at the earliest possibility in order to take control of their finances and ensure the right debt solution is found to suit their circumstances."