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Review of Scotland’s statutory debt solutions

Review of Scotland’s statutory debt solutions

In September 2019, Scottish Ministers committed to undertake a wide-ranging policy review of Scotland’s statutory debt solutions with the aim of further enhancing and improving our system. This was in response to a recommendation put forward by the then Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee following their scrutiny of the Debt Arrangement Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2019.

Stakeholders agreed that the review should consist of three stages. The following sections provide information about each stage and will be updated as the review progresses.

Wider review - stage 1

Stage 1 involved an examination of immediate priorities that could be taken forward during the Parliamentary session. It specifically looked at measures that would help address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stage 1 concluded with the Bankruptcy (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 coming into force on 29 March 2021.

Wider review - stage 2

Stage 2 of the review was undertaken by three stakeholder-led working groups. Their remit was to look at the operation of existing statutory debt solutions and provide recommendations and options for improvement. 

Having considered the recommendations put forward by the three working groups, and those from a similar policy review of Scottish diligence measures, the Scottish Government developed specific proposals and issued a public consultation to seek further views. Further information on this consultation and on the diligence review can be found in the closed consultations and reviews section. 

The proposals being taken forward will be introduced through a mix of primary legislation, secondary legislation and operational guidance. 

Wider review - stage 3

Stage 3 is a longer-term strategic review of the statutory debt solutions to assess if they meet the needs of a modern economy.

Stakeholders agreed that this review should be independent from the Scottish Government and the Accountant in Bankruptcy.

In September 2023, Tom Arthur, the then Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance, announced the appointment of Yvonne MacDermid OBE to lead stage 3 of the review.

Yvonne has published the following consultation to seek stakeholder views:

Independent review of Scotland’s statutory debt solutions - Stage 3 Consultation

The consultation will run from 23 May 2024 until 18 July 2024.

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