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Scottish bankruptcies hit six year low 22 October 2014

The number of Scottish bankruptcies fell to its lowest level since April 2008 in the third quarter of 2014.

Figures from the latest Accountancy in Bankruptcy report show total personal insolvencies fell 3.9% year-on-year, with 1,654 bankruptcies recorded during the quarter.

There were a total of 2,991 personal insolvencies recorded during the period, including 1,337 Protected Trust Deeds (PTDs), which rose 10.3% quarter-on-quarter.

Bryan Jackson, business restructuring partner at BDO in Scotland, said: “The increase in the number of personal insolvencies in the third quarter is surprising as the recent trend is for the numbers to fall. This may indicate a bottoming out in the personal insolvency numbers to a level which will remain fixed for some years to come.

“There has been a growth in personal indebtedness over the last 15 to 20 years which would have once been seen as extraordinary but has now become acceptable. One of the unfortunate side effects of this is that some individuals find themselves unable to cope with these relatively high levels of debt and fall into insolvency.

“It is too early to state whether we have seen the base level for personal insolvencies but there are signs that we may perhaps always have 10,000-12,000 Scots a year being made bankrupt in the future.”

The number of corporate insolvencies during the quarter fell by 16.4% since Q2 2014, 22% year-on-year.

The total figure of 209 consisted of 152 compulsory liquidations (a decrease of 1.9% year-on-year) and 56 Creditors Voluntary Liquidations (down 47.7% year-on-year), with one receiverships recorded.

Jackson said: “The fall in corporate insolvencies in the third quarter reflects the relatively benign economic circumstances in which we are operating. The low interest rates, the falling energy costs, and the increase in demand have all lead to a period when many businesses can start to contemplate growth once more.

“Businesses should continue to be vigilant and ensure that debts are reduced, costs are monitored and cash flow maintained. In this way many firms will secure their finances in the event of any future turbulence.”

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