19% fall in personal insolvencies

Press Association
·2-min read
19% fall in personal insolvencies
19% fall in personal insolvencies

The number of personal insolvencies in Scotland has fallen by almost a fifth in the last year.

There was a 19% drop to 11,167 personal insolvencies, which include bankruptcies and protected trust deeds, down from 13,793 for 2013-14.

The number of bankruptcies fell for the sixth consecutive year, to 6,730 in 2014-15.

This was a 5.4% drop on the previous year, according to the annual report for Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), which administers the process of personal bankruptcy and records corporate insolvencies in Scotland.

Meanwhile, there was a 33.6% annual drop in protected trust deeds, with 4,437 in 2014-15.

AIB said that despite a fall in bankruptcies, funds returned to creditors continue to rise through protected trust deeds and debt payment programmes approved through the debt arrangement scheme (DAS).

Last year, £36.8 million was returned to creditors through the DAS, with 896 DAS cases concluded, 73% more than during 2013-14.

In addition, £27.6 million was paid to creditors upon conclusion of protected trust deed cases.

AIB chief executive Dr Richard Dennis said: "It has been a very busy but an extremely successful year for the agency, which is reflected in this report.

"We have been able to recover our total operating costs from service users, thereby eliminating the requirement for public funding for the second year, which in an era of tightening public-sector spending is an achievement we're very proud of.

"The £36.8 million paid through the Debt Arrangement Scheme and the protected trust deed average dividend increasing to 21.7 pence in the pound demonstrate the interests of creditors and businesses are balanced with the needs of the debtor in every case."

The past year has seen the implementation of the Bankruptcy and Debt Advice (Scotland) Act, which introduced new regulations including a new route into bankruptcy for those with minimal assets and measures to promote financial capability.

David Menzies, director of insolvency with chartered accountancy trade body ICAS, said: "ICAS welcomes the progress made by Accountant in Bankruptcy and the Scottish Government in implementing the bankruptcy changes brought about under the Bankruptcy and Debt Advice (Scotland) Act 2014."

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