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Scottish personal insolvencies on the increase in new report

The Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) has released its Annual Report and Accounts for the year 2016-17. The report contains a wealth of data, including a collation of the AiB's quarterly insolvency statistics.

Corporate insolvency

Corporate insolvency remains on the slow decline with compulsory liquidations falling by 6% to 558 petitions. The AiB reports that there were 283 creditors' voluntary liquidations as compared to 302 the previous year. The number of receiverships for Scottish registered companies increased by one to a total of five for the year 2016-17.


There is an upward trend in personal insolvency, increasing by 18% from last year.  Sequestrations are up by 21% which can be broken down to 3,374 debtor applications and 1,182 creditor petitions awarded.

While debtor applications are marginally up, this is likely due to a backlog of cases filtering through, following changes to the debtor application process as a result of teething issues with Common Financial Tool in 2015/16.

Creditor applications remain historically low, representing less than one in eight of all personal insolvencies.

Protected Trust Deeds   

Protected Trust Deeds (PTDs) are the preferred choice of debt relief and have recorded a 16% increase from last year with a total of 5,470. From a creditor perspective, sequestrations and PTDs recorded very similar returns: sequestrations averaging 21.1p in the £ and PTDs averaging 19.8p in the £.

Debt Payment Programmes

There has been a small 9% increase in the number of Debt Payment Programmes (DDPs) approved which equates to 2,233 applications. The AiB have reported that 1,603 DPPs were completed and £37.3 million was repaid through the Debt Arrangement Scheme last year.


Overall, while personal insolvency has increased in the last year the overall trend is downward and a long way from the levels reached in 2008-2010 following the great financial crash and, indeed, pre-2008 levels before debtor applications were introduced.

For a full copy of the Annual Report and Accounts please click here.

Contributors: Rachel Black and Tessa Glover

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at September 2017. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms and conditions.


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