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Scottish insolvencies drop to lowest for a decade 23 April 2015

The number of Scots going bust has dropped in the past year to its lowest level in 10 years, according to the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB).

The AiB, which administers the insolvency regime in Scotland, publishes annual figures for personal and corporate insolvencies in Scotland.

Its latest numbers show that individual insolvencies, which include bankruptcies and protected trust deeds (PTDs), have fallen 19 per cent to 11,161 compared to a year ago.

In the final quarter of 2014/2015 up until March 31, a total of 2,569 personal insolvencies were recorded, which is the lowest combined total since the fourth quarter of 2004/2005.

This represents a 2.4 per cent drop on the previous quarter (ending in December 2014) and means personal insolvencies are at their lowest for 10 years.

Scottish business minister Fergus Ewing said: “These are extremely encouraging numbers which illustrate that Scotland’s recovery continues to gather pace.

“We are now looking at levels of sequestrations and companies going to the wall that haven’t been seen since before the global recession.”

The longer term trend in Scotland shows total personal insolvencies have declined every year for the past three years.

There were 4,147 debt payment programmes approved under the debt arrangement scheme (DAS) in the past year. This was 9.4 per cent fewer than in 2013/2014.

The amount of money repaid through DAS continues to rise, with £36.8m recouped for creditors over the year, up 22.5 per cent (£6.8m).

The corporate landscape
The number of Scottish corporate insolvencies decreased by 8.2 per cent in 2014/2015 to the lowest annual total for seven years.

But Paul Dounis, insolvency partner at Baker Tilly in Scotland, said: “The numbers don’t tell the whole story.

“There has been a trend for banks to sell their non-core bad debt books to private equity groups. As these groups work through those loan books, they are prioritising those that they can realise assets from first.

“However, as they start to focus on more distressed companies in the portfolios, they may be left with little choice but to enter them into an insolvency procedure.”

By Marcel LeGouais



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