Insolvency rates drop across Scotland

Accountant in Bankruptcy figures show decline across all local authorities.

New statistics released today show fewer people entering a statutory debt solution across all 32 local authorities in Scotland during 2015/16.

The report from Accountant in Bankruptcy shows the rate per 10,000 of the adult population for bankruptcies, protected trust deeds and debt payment programmes under the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) for every local authority area compared to the previous year.

The overall rate of personal insolvencies, which include both bankruptcies and protected trust deeds, has decreased a quarter in the last financial year from 25.13 to 19 per 10,000 adults.

This decrease was driven by a 44.22 per cent reduction in the rate of bankruptcies since the previous year with the amount of people being sequestrated dropping across the board in all 32 local authority regions of Scotland.

The lowest bankruptcy rates were found in the island council areas and the highest in West Dunbartonshire. However, even in West Dunbartonshire, the rate fell by almost 40 per cent on the previous year. The largest bankruptcy rate decrease was in Renfrewshire where the rate fell 62.9 per cent on the previous year.

Welcoming the figures, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said:
“In the context of the continued challenging economic environment, it is really important we ensure that all those individuals who need them have access to fair debt relief and debt management processes.

“Building on our fundamental reforms to the bankruptcy system in Scotland in the last parliament, we will continue to work with businesses and charities to make the support we can offer to those in problem debt as relevant and helpful as it can be, whilst making sure that those individuals who can pay their debts, do so.”

The rate of protected trust deeds per 10,000 adults in Scotland has remained constant in 2015/16, with only a slight increase from 10.00 to 10.56 per 10,000 from the previous financial year.

The rate for protected trust deeds increased in 24 of the 32 local authorities in 2015/16 as compared with the previous year. The lowest rates of protected trust deeds were found in the Orkney Islands and Na h-Eileanan Siar and the highest concentrated around the central belt.

The number of Scots entering a DAS also fell to half the rate of the previous financial year, down to 4.58 per 10,000 adults and decreased across all 32 local authorities.

Fife had the highest instances of adults entering a DAS while the lowest DAS rate was again found in the island regions.

Notes to editors

A full statement of Scotland’s statutory debt solutions by local authority can be found at:

Accountant in Bankruptcy supervises all personal insolvencies in Scotland and administers those bankruptcies where appointed. Insolvent individuals in Scotland are subject to bankruptcy (sequestration) or enter protected trust deeds.

Further information regarding insolvency in Scotland, including legislation, can be found on the Accountant in Bankruptcy’s website

The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is administered by Accountant in Bankruptcy. Debt payment programmes approved under DAS allow individuals to repay their debts in full over an extended period of time whilst providing protection from enforcement by their creditors and safeguarding their home as long as mortgage payments are maintained. Further information on DAS, including a register of debt payment programmes, is available at

Scotland’s Financial Health Service
is a one-stop shop for advice a range of money issues and signposts to organisations offering information and advice on debt, managing money, housing, homelessness and ethical lending. The Scotland’s Financial Health Service helpline is available by calling 0800 707 6696

Gavin Cameron: 0300 200 2636 / 07976 183010


Media enquiries

Back to top