Q1 2015-16 Scottish insolvency statistics – R3 comments
Commenting on the Scottish Insolvency Statistics Q1 2015-16, Eileen Blackburn, Chair of the Scottish Technical Committee of R3, the insolvency trade body says:
“The latest figures show personal insolvencies in Scotland continuing the trend of decline seen in the last number of years.
“The falling numbers indicate that people may be using this period of low interest rates and inflation to get on top of their finances. But it’s important to bear in mind that a rise in the future is inevitable and people should plan accordingly.
“It’s also important to remember that these statistics don’t tell the whole story. There are hundreds of thousands of people across the UK in non-statutory debt management plans. While the official figures of personal insolvencies may be falling, consumer debt is a growing problem. R3’s latest research found that 38% of Scottish adults were worried about their current level of debt.”
“These results are the first since the introduction of the Bankruptcy and Debt Advice Scotland Act was introduced in April. The legislation seeks to ensure those who do go through a formal insolvency procedure enter the appropriate debt relief programme, and includes a provision for financial education for those with prolonged debt problems. Those that are struggling with debt should seek qualified advice as early as possible.”
“The number of Scottish corporate insolvencies has remained level this quarter but are down from the same time last year.
“While it is encouraging to see the numbers aren’t rising, the figures don’t tell the whole story. There are many businesses in distress who may not be taking the traditional insolvency route. In this market and economy, it is becoming much more common for companies to restructure or enter a non-insolvency debt relief scheme, rather than following a formal insolvency process.
“There are also potentially thousands of ‘zombie’ businesses left over from the last recession that are surviving for now but could struggle when the rise in interest rates eventually comes. Given the Bank of England Governor’s recent comments on the possibility of a rise around the turn of the year, businesses need to plan for a how a rise in interest rates will affect them. Any rise will be small initially, but even that could be too much for those businesses already in difficulty.”
“Insolvency doesn’t necessarily mean permanent financial failure; an insolvency procedure can be a solution to debt worries. Companies experiencing financial difficulties should seek expert advice early from a suitably qualified insolvency expert to ensure the best chance for a successful turnaround.”
Notes to Editors:
- Personal finance research carried out by R3 and ComRes. ComRes interviewed 2,011 GB adults online between the 13th and 15th March 2015. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Data tables are available on the ComRes website, www.comres.co.uk