RSM responds to the latest Scottish insolvency statistics

The statistics released today by the Accountant in Bankruptcy show that personal insolvency levels in Scotland rose in the second quarter of this financial year compared to the first quarter, but have continued in a downward trend in comparison to last year.

Corporate insolvencies fell by almost 9 per cent against the same period last year.

Commenting on the personal insolvency figures, Alistair Dickson, Restructuring Advisory Partner at RSM in Scotland said:

‘The continued downward trend of people entering into formal personal insolvency procedures is encouraging and suggests that many Scots continue to enjoy low interest rates and the impact of pay rises. On top of this, lower motoring costs may also have had a positive impact, however the increase in quarter two against quarter one has to be considered in light of what is happening in the economy, with particular reference to the oil and gas sector and recently, the steel sector.'

‘It’s interesting to note that there’s a continuing rise in Protected Trust Deeds (PTDs) since the previous quarter, while Debt Arrangement Schemes (DAS) numbers continue to fall, we have seen a rise in DAS applications but approval levels have fallen. The prospect of a three to five year solution as opposed to a DAS solution of up to 10 years may be impacting on this trend.'

‘The Bank of England continues to warn of rate rises but no doubt will be keeping a watchful eye regarding growth levels in China, and any rate changes in the US before committing to a UK rate increase. Any rises we see will be gradual and limited, but will still have a noticeable impact on household’s disposable income.'

Commenting on the corporate insolvency figures, Alistair Dickson, Restructuring Advisory Partner at RSM in Scotland said:

‘The relatively low level and declining trend of corporate insolvencies in Scotland continues to indicate a positive perspective of business health. Although these numbers are positive in respect of formal appointments, we watch with caution regarding the ongoing impact of low oil prices as producers pass cuts to their contractors. Recent closure announcements in Scotland’s steel industry are likely to have an impact on the supply chain, as well as HMRC enforcements coming into play.'

‘On a positive note, money saved at the petrol pumps appears to being spent in the leisure sectors.’