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07/01/2016

Personal insolvencies by parliamentary constituency

This year’s personal insolvency statistics for England & Wales’ parliamentary constituencies tell the same story they have told before: personal insolvency tends to be more common in the North East, the South West, and on the coast (half of the top ten are coastal towns).

While the Vale of Clwyd in Wales still has England & Wales’ highest rate of personal insolvency (48.6 insolvencies per 10,000 adults), the stats show that, despite being nowhere near the sea (nor in the South West or North East) Stoke-on-Trent is emerging as perhaps the country’s ‘insolvency capital’: all three of the city’s constituencies are in the top ten.

Common factors in the worst affected constituencies include high unemployment, legacy issues such as the decline of heavy industry, or poor infrastructure. Seaside towns and the South West also struggle as a result of their reliance on seasonal work and the tourist trade.
 
In terms of the political party representation of the ten constituencies with the highest rates of insolvency, there’s an even split between Conservative and Labour MPs. At the other end of the spectrum, seven of the ten constituencies with the lowest rates of insolvency were held by Conservative MPs, two by Labour MPs and one by the Lib Dems. Eight of the ten constituencies with the lowest rate were within London, with Battersea holding the lowest rate (7.2 per 10,000 adults) in 2014. 
 
331 of the 573 constituencies saw a decrease in their total insolvency rate compared to the year before.
 
It will be interesting to see in next year’s figures what the impact the changes to the creditor bankruptcy petition limit and DRO debt and asset limits will have on the shape of the insolvency ‘league table’. According to the Insolvency Service’s original call for evidence on the changes, there could be as many as 3,600 more Debt Relief Orders and 2,000 fewer bankruptcies.
 
Constituencies in the top ten for highest total insolvency rates that also have high levels of bankruptcy, such as Torbay and Wythenshawe & Sale East, may find themselves falling down the ladder if fewer individuals undertake this kind of procedure.
 
The total number of personal insolvencies for 2015 will be revealed at the end of this month, with a regional breakdown coming out in the summer. Check back here to see how the years compare.
 

Notes to editors:

  • R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals and represents the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners.

  • R3 comments on a wide variety of personal and corporate insolvency issues. Contact the press office, or see www.r3.org.uk for further information.

  • R3 promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled individuals and businesses; all R3 members are regulated by recognised professional bodies
     
  • R3 stands for 'Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal' and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.