Scottish insolvencies rise but trail UK figure

THE number of Scottish firms going bust surged by nearly 78 per cent in November, but insolvencies north of the Border remain relatively low compared to much of the rest of the UK.

Figures out today show that Scotland was the only part of the UK to see an increase in failures when compared to the same period a year earlier.

The study from credit reference agency Experian found 0.07 per cent of Scotland's firms ceased trading in November, up from 0.04 per cent previously.

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Eight-seven Scots firms failed last month, compared with 49 in November 2009.

The insolvency rate for 2009 was exceptionally low at less than half that seen for the majority of other parts of the UK. Even after this latest surge, Scottish failures still match the UK average, which fell from 0.09 per cent a year ago.

Max Firth, managing principal of Experian subsidiary pH, said the anomaly in Scotland masked a more positive picture of relative stability in both the Scottish and wider UK economies.

Historically, insolvencies tend to peak after recovery from a downturn begins. Failures rose four-fold following the 1990s recession, whereas the peak this time was lower and came before the resumption of growth.

Firth added: "This recession has followed a fundamentally different pattern, and, within that, Scotland has behaved quite differently from much of the rest of the UK."