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Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics January to March 2024 (2023-24 Quarter 4)

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland

Supporting documents

Main points for January to March 2024

There were 1,884 personal insolvencies (bankruptcies and protected trust deeds (PTDs)) in 2023-24 Q4. A decrease of 32 (1.7%) when compared with 2022-23 Q4.

In 2023-24 Q4, 482 debtor applications for bankruptcy benefitted from the revised fee structure. Of these, 461 cases (95.6%) paid no fee at all.

Under the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), there were 1,234 Debt Payment Programmes (DPPs) approved in 2023-24 Q4. This is an increase of 2.4% when compared with 1,205 from 2022-23 Q4.

Chart 1 below shows the number of Personal insolvencies and DAS DPPs since 2009-10 Q1.

Both DAS DPPs and Personal Insolvencies have levelled off since Q1 2020
Chart 1: Number of debt solutions by type since April-June 2009

There were 971 applications for moratoria granted in 2023-24 Q4. An increase of 10.1% when compared with 2022-23 Q4.

Corporate insolvencies increased from 346 in 2022-23 Q4 to 301 in 2023-24 Q4.

Level of personal insolvencies in Q4 2023-24 were slightly lower than in Q4 2022-23
Chart 2: Quarterly personal insolvencies, 2022-23 and 2023-24

About this release

This quarterly release contains the latest Scottish statistics on:

  • statutory debt solutions
  • statutory moratoriums on diligence
  • corporate insolvencies

These are compiled by Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), an executive agency of the Scottish Government. The next update will be 24 July 2024. For any queries please contact us using the .

The majority of the statistics presented use data from AiB administrative records. Estimates for 2023-24 are provisional until the publication of final figures in July 2024.

Non-statutory debt solutions are where debtors make their own arrangements with creditors or enter informal debt management plans with a debt management firm. These are not included in these statistics.

The data used in this release is not seasonally adjusted. It is recommended you use year-on-year comparisons (for example 2023-24 Q4 compared with 2022-23 Q4).

Awards of Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy (also known as sequestration in Scotland) is a legal declaration that a person cannot pay their debts. If a person is declared bankrupt, control of some things that they own are passed to a trustee who may sell them to pay money owed to creditors. Awards of bankruptcy can be grouped into three types:

  • debtor application
  • creditor petition
  • trust deed petition

Further information on bankruptcy can be found on

There were 603 bankruptcies awarded in 2023-24 Q4, an increase of 1.5% when compared with 2022-23 Q4.

Of the 603 awards of bankruptcy, 79.9% came from debtor applications. The remaining bankruptcies came from creditor petitions (20.1%). There were no trust deed petitions in 2023-24 Q4.

Creditor petitions decreased from 124 in 2022-23 Q4 to 121 in 2023-24 Q4. Note petitions are approved by courts with AiB only recording when a petition has been awarded. So, the number of creditor petitions recorded could be influenced by the late reporting of creditor petitions court orders. Under the current revisions policy, quarterly creditor petitions figures are revised quarterly to account for late reporting or missing cases.

Legislative changes

During the COVID-19 Pandemic there was a series of emergency legislation introduced that may impact our statistics:

and more recently:

Debtor applications

Debtor applications for bankruptcy increased by 2.6% from 470 in 2022-23 Q4 to 482 in 2023-24 Q4. There are two types of debtor applications for bankruptcy: MAP or Full Administration. Full Administration bankruptcies decreased by 6.1% from 148 in 2022-23 Q4 to 139 in 2023-24 Q4. MAP bankruptcies increased by 6.5% from 322 to 343. The majority of bankruptcies awarded through debtor applications are MAP cases.

Not all debtor applications for bankruptcy result in an award being made. Applications can be:

  • rejected (criteria for bankruptcy not met)
  • returned (application errors) or
  • withdrawn

In 2023-24 Q4, 482 debtor applications for bankruptcy were received by AiB compared with 470 received in 2022-23 Q4.

Almost 70% of debtor applications awarded in 2023-24 were MAP
Chart 3: Awards of debtor applications by type of bankruptcies: Apr-Jun 2009 to Jan-Mar 2024

Case administration

In Scotland, a trustee is appointed to administer each bankruptcy. The Accountant in Bankruptcy (The Accountant) will be the trustee unless an insolvency practitioner is nominated to act. In all cases awarded under MAP, The Accountant must act as trustee.

In the fourth quarter of 2023-24, The Accountant was appointed trustee in 543 cases awarded. This is 90.0% of bankruptcies for the quarter. This is because 71.2% of bankruptcies awarded through debtor applications in this quarter are MAP cases.

Application fee structure

The current bankruptcy application fee structure provides lower cost access to both the Full Administration and MAP routes to bankruptcy. It included the complete removal of fees for those assessed as having no surplus income and those in receipt of certain prescribed benefits. Debtor application costs for Full Administration have reduced from £200 to £150 and MAP application fees have been removed completely. For further information see:

In the fourth quarter of 2023-24, a total of 482 bankruptcy awards were made following applications submitted to AiB under the revised fee structure. Of this total, 461 (95.6%) applicants were not required to pay any fee at all. 84.9% of Full Administration bankruptcies paid no fee in 2023-24 Q4. Due to the legislation changes 100% of MAP cases paid no fee in 2023-24 Q4.

Bankruptcies discharged

A debtor in a full administration bankruptcy will normally be bankrupt for one year. After this period they may be discharged. A debtor in a MAP bankruptcy will normally be discharged after six months as long as they continue to meet the MAP criteria.

Although the debtor is discharged, the administration of the bankruptcy continues until the trustee has dealt with all of the estate and accounted for their work so that they can seek their own discharge. A debtor must continue to cooperate with the trustee until the trustee’s discharge.

In 2023-24 Q4, there were 556 debtors discharged and 695 trustees discharged, a decrease of 1.6% and an increase of 4.2% respectively when compared with 2022-23 Q4.

Figures on the number of trustee discharges contain some bankruptcy cases where the trustee has been discharged on more than one occasion. This is following formal re-appointment to conclude the administration of the bankruptcy. The figures also include the number of trustees who formerly acted in bankruptcies on which recall has been granted. In 2022-23 and 2023-24, there were 48 and 50 bankruptcy recalls respectively.

Protected Trust Deeds

A PTD is a formal debt solution where an agreement is made between a debtor and creditors to repay part or all of their debt.

The debtor conveys their estate to an insolvency practitioner (the trustee) to administer for the benefit of creditors. The arrangement normally includes a contribution from income for a set period.

Provided the debtor complies with the terms of their deed, the creditors can take no further action to pursue the debt or to make the debtor bankrupt. This is similar to Individual Voluntary Agreements in England and Wales, although there are important differences in the way they are set up and administered.

For further information on protected trust deeds see

PTDs registered

There were 1,281 PTDs registered in 2023-24 Q4, a decrease of 3.1% when compared with 2022-23 Q4. Chart 4 shows that the number of PTDs have followed a similar trend to bankruptcies and had been generally increasing between 2014-15 Q1 and 2019-20 Q1, before declining in 2019-20 Q2.

Despite a drop in volumes in COVID-19, there are still more PTDs than bankruptcies
Chart 4: Personal insolvencies by type of debt solution Apr-Jun 2015 to Oct-Dec 2023

As with awards of bankruptcies, the trend in PTDs registered is likely to be affected by legislative and operational changes. For example, the BADA(S) reforms, introduced from 1 April 2015, aligned the payment period in bankruptcy and PTDs to 48 months. Prior to this, those agreeing to a PTD were typically paying contributions for an additional year compared with those in bankruptcy. These changes have likely led to an increase in PTD activity levels.

In 2023-24 Q4, more PTDs were registered than bankruptcy awards, as has been the case since 2015-16 Q1.

PTD Protocol

The PTD Protocol was introduced on the 1st October 2021. It set out non-statutory changes to operational processes. The aim was to promote good practice, improve transparency and provide further clarity in support of the AiB PTD Notes for Guidance. This would better enable Insolvency Practitioners to manage debtor and creditor expectations in a PTD.

There is no legislative need for a trustee to follow the protocol provisions. Yet, since its launch, eight insolvency practitioners voluntarily agreed to do so. Of the total number of trust deeds protected in 2023-24 Q4, 91.5% had protocol compliant trustees.

More details on the protocol can be found on the AiB website.

PTDs discharged

A debtor in a PTD is normally discharged after 48 months. If the debtor makes the agreed payments, and cooperates with the trustee then the trustee will apply to AiB for the debtor to be discharged.

After the debtor has been discharged, the trustee may remain in office as long as necessary to conclude the administration of the trust deed.

There were 1,694 debtors discharged in the fourth quarter of 2023-24, a 4.5% increase when compared with 2022-23 Q4. There were 2,217 trustees discharged in 2023-24 Q4, a 44.9% increase when compared with the same quarter in 2022-23.

Debt Arrangement Scheme

The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is a statutory debt management solution administered by AiB. Under the DAS, a debtor commits to a Debt Payment Programme (DPP) which allows them to repay their debts based on their disposable income while they are protected from creditors taking any action against them to recover their debt. If the DPP is approved, all interest, fees and charges on the debt will be frozen and waived if the programme is completed in full.

For further information on the Debt Arrangement Scheme see

Approved DAS applications

Note that not all applications received by AiB are approved. In the fourth quarter of 2023-24, 1,292 applications for a DAS DPP were received by AiB. In the same quarter, 12 applications were rejected.

In 2023-24 Q4, there were 1,234 approved DPPs under the DAS compared with the 1,205 approved in 2022-23 Q4, an increase of 2.4%. Chart 5 shows there has been upward trend in the number of approved DPPs since 2019-20 Q1.

DAS volumes continue to climb
Chart 5: Approved DPPs under DAS Apr-Jun 2015 to Jan-Mar 2024

Completed and Revoked DAS cases

A DPP reaches completion when the debt in the DPP has been paid in full, minus the fees paid to the DAS Administrator and the payments distributor. There were 484 DPPs under the DAS completed in 2023-24 Q4, an increase of 7.3% when compared with 2022-23 Q4.

The volume of DAS completions will depend on activity levels several years earlier with the average expected length of a DPP under DAS being around six years. We can expect a lower but steady volume of completions in line with current applications approved compared with previous completion levels.

A DPP is automatically revoked if either the debtor is made bankrupt, enters a trust deed which becomes protected, or other grounds. There were 390 DPPs under the DAS revoked in 2023-24 Q4, which is 57 (12.8%) fewer than the figure of 447 in the same quarter in 2022-23.

Amount repaid under the DAS

In 2023-24 Q4, around £12.9 million was repaid from debtors under the DAS compared with the £11.8 million million repaid in 2022-23 Q4. Since the DAS (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2019 came into force on 4 November 2019, through DAS, creditors receive a minimum of 78% of the debt owed to them from debtors. This is after DAS Administrator and payments distributor fees. Prior to this, the minimum was set at 90%. After the DAS Administrator and payments distributor fees have been deducted around £10.5 million was paid to creditors in 2023-24 Q4.

Applications to vary and revoke a DPP

If a debtor’s circumstances change and they can no longer afford the agreed payments, or if they want to increase the level of payment, they can apply for a variation to their DAS DPP. Variations can also include a change to the length of the DPP or attaching a new condition.

The following type of variations are included in this publication:

  • contribution change
  • debt change
  • discretionary condition
  • essential credit
  • frequency change
  • partial settlement
  • payment break

In the fourth quarter of 2023-24 a total of 3,149 were submitted to vary a DPP. Of these, 928 applications for a crisis payment break were approved, making up about 29.5% of all variation requests. Additionally, 2,184 standard variation applications were approved, representing 69.4% of all applications to vary a DPP. Only 1.2% of applications to vary a DPP were rejected. Approved variations accounted for 17.0% of live DAS cases.

Applications to revoke a DPP

A DPP is automatically revoked if the debtor is made bankrupt or enters a trust deed which becomes protected. There are also a number of grounds where the debtor, a money adviser acting on behalf of the debtor or a creditor in the DPP can apply to revoke a DPP, for example:

  • debtors failed to satisfy a standard or discretionary condition
  • debtors made a false statement in their application
  • the debtors failed to make the agreed installment under the DPP and are currently in arrears of an amount equal to two installments
  • the conditions for a joint DPP as specified in regulation 22(1) or 22(2) no longer apply

If the DPP is revoked, the debtor may be liable for all interest, fees, penalties and other charges that would have been payable had the DPP not been approved.

Of a total of 781applications to revoke a DPP, 390 were approved in 2023-24 Q4, 53 (12.0%) fewer than the figure approved in 2022-23 Q4, and 391 were rejected. Overall, 390 or 2.1% of live DAS cases were revoked during 2023-24 Q4.

Statutory Moratorium on Diligence

A moratorium provides protection from creditor debt enforcement.

Individuals can request a moratorium if they need a period of breathing space. This allows them time to consider whether to apply for a statutory debt solution.

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 extended the duration of the moratorium from six weeks to six months. The rule prohibiting more than one moratorium in any 12-month period was also temporarily set aside. This was reinforced on 01 October 2021. Now, moratorium protection cannot be provided where an application has been made in the previous 12 months.

The Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Act fixes the period of protection at 6 months. This continues the enhanced protection introduced temporarily by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020. This commenced on 01 October 2022.

There were 971 (debtor and entity) applications for moratoria granted in 2023-24 Q4. This is an increase of 10.1% when compared with the same quarter in 2022-23.

Levels of moratoriums on diligence remain higher than pre-pandemic levels
Chart 6: Statutory moratorium on diligence granted between April 2015 to March 2024.

Corporate insolvency

AiB handles devolved elements of corporate insolvency. The Scottish Government’s competence is limited to:

  • the process of company liquidation and receivership and
  • the management and maintenance of the Register of Insolvencies (RoI)

The RoI contains details of liquidation and receivership of Scottish businesses. This includes those wound up by either a Sheriff Court or the Court of Session. AiB needs to be notified of all company liquidations and receiverships in Scotland.

The statistics below are based on the date the insolvency was registered on AiB’s system. So, there is a time lag between the dates of award/registration and when AiB receives notice. Therefore, the figures reported by AiB may not exactly reflect the true number of awards/registrations in a quarter.

For further information on corporate insolvency see

Corporate insolvencies include:

  • receiverships appointments
  • compulsory liquidations
  • creditors’ voluntary liquidations

In the past, the majority of corporate insolvencies used to be compulsory liquidation. Since 2020-21 Q1, the majority are creditors’ voluntary liquidations. Creditors’ voluntary liquidations decreased by 19.0% between 2022-23 Q4 and 2023-24 Q4. Compulsory liquidations decreased from 130 to 126 over the same period.

Chart 7 shows that there were 301 corporate insolvencies in 2023-24 Q4 compared with 346 in 2022-23 Q4. This is a decrease of 13.0%. There were 96 MVLs in 2023-24 Q4 compared with 200 in 2022-23 Q4. A decrease of 52.0%.

Corporate inolvencies continue to rise post COVID
Chart 7: Total corporate insolvencies and members’ voluntary liquidations Apr-Jun 2010 to Jan-Mar 2024

Reserved elements remain the responsibility of the UK Government and are dealt with by The Insolvency Service. The Insolvency Service is an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business and Trade.

Reserved elements include:

  • company voluntary arrangements
  • administration
  • legal effects of liquidation and
  • regulation of insolvency practitioners

Statistics on these reserved elements are available from The Insolvency Service.

The statistics presented here may differ from those published by The Insolvency Service, as they source their data from Companies House. Differences are due to AiB using its own administrative system’s data rather than the start date of the insolvency. Corporate insolvency statistics produced by The Insolvency Service are available here.

Background information

Official Statistics label

These official statistics provide key information on personal and corporate insolvencies in Scotland. Official statistics are produced by professional independent statistical staff.

Section 6.1 of the 2007 Statistics and Registration Service Act defines official statistics as those produced by:

  • the UK Statistics Authority
  • government departments (including executive agencies)
  • the Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • any other person acting on behalf of the Crown or
  • any other organisation named on an Official Statistics Order

Under the Act, official statistics should:

  • follow the Code of Practice for Statistics and
  • fall within the scope of the Office for Statistics Regulation

The Office for Statistics Regulation assesses their compliance against the Code of Practice

Further information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland is available here - About our statistics -

Data Sources

The statistics for Scottish statutory debt solutions (bankruptcies, PTDs, and the DAS) use administrative data processed within AiB. These are stored on the systems BASYS, ASTRA and eDEN (formerly DASH) respectively. Note DASH was decommissioned on 30 June 2019 and its replacement system, eDEN, went live on 1 July 2019.

The exception to this is creditor and trustee petition bankruptcies. This is sourced from the courts that grant them and then stored on the BASYS system.

The statistics for statutory moratorium on diligence also use administrative data processed within AiB. This is stored on the Register of Insolvencies.

Corporate insolvencies calculated using administrative data records provided by the courts and insolvency professionals (liquidators and receivers). Corporate insolvency statistics published by AiB may differ from equivalent statistics published by The Insolvency Service. This is because the Insolvency Service use their own administrative data of records and Companies House to produce their statistics. There may be a time lag between the award/registration date and the date on which AiB receives notice of the insolvency.


Figures are produced from tabulation of raw data from relevant administrative systems for the number of:

  • bankruptcies
  • PTDs
  • DPPs under the DAS
  • statutory moratorium on diligence and
  • corporate insolvencies

The numbers of personal insolvencies reported are based on:

  • the date of the court order
  • agreement of the insolvency procedure or
  • approval date

For creditor petitions, the published figures will be influenced by the late reporting of court orders. This may lead to underestimating the number of creditor petitions awarded. Creditor petitions statistics are subsequently adjusted after the final quarterly release of the financial year. The revised figures are reflected in the first quarterly report of the next financial year.

The number of DPPs under the DAS reported are based on the approval date of the DPP. The number of statutory moratorium on diligence reported are based on the submission date of the granted moratorium.

AiB must be notified of all company liquidations and receiverships in Scotland. AiB publishes quarterly official statistics based on its own administrative records.


Revisions are usually made as a result of data being sent to AiB and logged on to the administrative systems after the cut-off date for data being extracted. These revisions tend to be small in the context of overall totals.

From 2023-24 Q4, scheduled revisions will occur every financial quarter. Providing users with data in a more timely manner. This will improve the accuracy of provisional estimates as more information becomes available.

On the first release of the quarterly statistics, all new quarterly data are given provisional status and labelled with [p]. These statistics will remain provisional until the data is finalised (i.e. no planned revisions). Any revisions that occur will be clearly marked with [r] and an explanatory footnote in the relevant table.

As is the current policy, revisions made for any other reason will be highlighted separately. Finalised figures will be published in the first quarter of the next financial year as the current policy states. Further details on the new revisions policy for scheduled revisions is shown in the table below.

Revision Schedule.
Publication edition Scheduled revisions
April to June (Q1) First release of April to June data. Data from previous April until following March is finalised.
July to September (Q2) First release of July to September data. Revise period April to June (Q1).
October to December (Q3) First release of October to December data. Revise period April to September (Q1-Q2).
January to March (Q4) First release of January to March data. Revise period April to December (Q1-Q3).

General Revisions and Corrections

In general, all figures for the previous financial years reported in this publication should be final and should not be revised in future. This is in line with the current revision policy. Sometimes, when quality assuring the data for the latest years, errors in term of data classifications applied may come to light. In this case, we may correct the erroneous data classifications in previous year. We will alert users of our statistics about such corrections.


The statistics produced by AiB are the most complete record of the number of statutory debt solutions and statutory moratorium on diligence. Statistics on corporate insolvencies are also included.

The statistics presented here do not include non-statutory debt solutions (where debtors make their own arrangements with creditors or enter informal debt management plans with a debt management firm).

These statistics are published on the fourth Wednesday of the month following the end of the quarter being reported on.

The exact publication date is pre-announced through a 12-month release calendar. This gives a specific release date at least four weeks in advance where possible – Official statistics: forthcoming publications -

Statutory debt solutions statistics can be compared between different types of debt solutions. They can also be used to identify trends over time.

Changes in legislation and policy may affect the extent to which comparisons can be made over time for individual data series. Such changes might cause breaks in time series so that statistics from before and after the change are not comparable. Where this is known, they have been highlighted in the commentary and in the general background notes.

The Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics are the definitive source of statistics on statutory debt solutions in Scotland. The Insolvency Service include figures from our publications in their official statistics releases on individual insolvencies. Figures for the financial year 2023-24 will be finalised in Q1 of 2024-25

It is important to note that the operational, policy and legislative differences in all nations of UK. Users should be mindful of this caveat when making comparisons with other parts of the UK.

Glossary of key terms


Any person who owes money to another.


Any person, business or organisation that is owed money by another.


(Also known as sequestration in Scotland) is a legal declaration that someone cannot pay their debts. If a person is declared bankrupt, control of things that they own is passed to a trustee who may sell them to pay money owed to creditors. A regular payment from a person’s income may also have to be made.

Protected Trust Deed (PTD)

A form of insolvency that transfers a debtor’s estate to a trustee to be realised for the benefit of creditors.

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

A Scottish Government debt management tool. Allows a debtor to repay their debts through a Debt Payment Programme. This gives more time for repayments, free from the threat of enforcement (diligence) or bankruptcy.

Moratorium on diligence

A protection from creditor debt enforcement. This protection is available to individuals as well as certain entities.

Insolvency Practitioner

A person (usually, but not necessarily, a chartered accountant) licensed and authorised to act as a trustee in sequestrations or trust deeds.


A person who administers a bankruptcy or trust deed. In sequestrations, a trustee can be either the AiB or a private insolvency practitioner. In trust deeds, trustees must be an insolvency practitioner.

Receivership appointments

A receiver is appointed by a lender holding a charge over some or all of the company’s assets. The main responsibilities of a receiver are to ensure the appointing lender is paid.

Compulsory liquidation

Or winding up by the court is a procedure by which the assets of a company are sold, and the net free proceeds are distributed to the company’s creditors. A court order is required to put a company into compulsory liquidation.

Creditors’ voluntary liquidation

A director can propose a creditors’ voluntary liquidation if the company can’t pay its debts (it’s ‘insolvent’) or enough shareholders agree. This means the company will stop trading and be liquidated (‘wound up’). The assets of the company are sold and the net free proceeds are distributed to the company’s creditors.

Members’ voluntary liquidation

The shareholders of a solvent company pass a voluntary winding up resolution and appoint a liquidator. The liquidator will realise the assets of the business in order to distribute the proceeds to company members. A company is considered legally solvent when it is able to meet its financial obligations and the value of its assets. The company must be in a position to pay its debts in full.

An Official Statistics publication for Scotland

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics; they undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs.

Correspondence and enquiries

For enquiries about this publication please contact:

AiB Statistics, Accountant in Bankruptcy

For general enquiries about Scottish Government statistics please contact:

Office of the Chief Statistician
Telephone: 0131 244 0442

How to access background or source data

The data collected for this statistical bulletin are available on the AiB Statistics webpages at

Details of bankruptcies, PTDs, liquidations and receiverships can be found on the Register of Insolvencies, which is maintained by Accountant in Bankruptcy and can be accessed at:

The DAS register is an online public register which holds information about those who have a DPP under DAS, available at:

Complaints and suggestions

If you are not satisfied with our service or have any comments or suggestions, please write to:
The Chief Statistician, 2W, St Andrews House, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG
Telephone: (0131) 244 0302

If you would like to be consulted about statistical collections or receive notification of publications, please register your interest at:

Details of forthcoming publications can be found at: Official statistics: forthcoming publications -

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