West Dunbartonshire has highest bankruptcy rate in Scotland

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THE rate at which Scots are going bankrupt is almost six times higher in West Dunbartonshire than it is in the Orkney Islands, new figures have revealed.

While only 2.75 people per 10,000 of the population in Orkney were declared bankrupt in 2015/16, the rate in West Dunbartonshire was 16.38 per 10,000.

That is down from a rate of 27.02 bankruptcies for every 10,000 people in 2014-15, but the local authority has had the highest bankruptcy rate in Scotland for each of the last five financial years, according to the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB).

Neighbouring East Dunbartonshire had the lowest bankruptcy rate on mainland Scotland, and the fourth lowest in the country, at 4.18 per 10,000 in 2015/16.

Across Scotland, the bankruptcy rate fell from 15.13 people per 10,000 of the population to 8.44 per 10,000 people - a drop of 44.22 per cent.

Reductions were recorded in each of the country’s 32 council areas, with Renfrewshire seeing the largest fall after the bankruptcy rate decreased by 62.9 per cent, going from 17.33 per 10,000 people in 2014/15 to 6.43 per 10,000 in 2015/16.

The insolvency rate - which includes those taking out protected trust deeds to deal with their debts as well as those who are declared bankrupt - dropped by a quarter over the year, going from 25.13 per 10,000 adults in 2014/15 to 19 per 10,000 in 2015/16.

Business minister 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.”

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