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Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics: October to December 2023 (2023-24 Quarter 3)

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland


Background information

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 
  • any other organisation named on an Official Statistics Order

Under the Act, official statistics should:

  • follow the Code of Practice for Statistics
  • 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 - gov.scot.

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 use administrative data records provided by the courts and insolvency professionals (liquidators and receivers). Corporate insolvency statistics published by AiB may differ from equivalent statistics from The Insolvency Service. This is because they source their data from their own administrative data of records and Companies House. There is a time lag between the dates of award/registration and when AiB receives notice. Differences between sets of these statistics are mainly due to AiB using its own administrative system’s data.

Methodology

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
  • corporate insolvencies

The numbers of personal insolvencies reported are based on:

  • the date of the court order
  • agreement of the insolvency procedure
  • 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. Corporate insolvencies are based on the date the insolvency was registered in AiB’s system.

Annual Scottish Statutory Debt Solution Statistics

Historically, the AiB Annual Report and Accounts included a summary statistics on statutory debt solutions, including:

  • division of funds by bankruptcy
  • count and rate per 10,000 adults by local authority areas
  • the outcome of DPPs under the DAS approved since 2005-06

The statistics annex in the annual corporate report has been replaced with the experimental Statutory Debt Solution annual statistics publication. This was published for the second time on 27 July 2022. This publication includes the finalised figures for the financial year 2022-23. The next edition of the annual statistics publication is scheduled for release in August 2024.

Revisions

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 Q3, 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.

Quality

Relevance

Relevance is the degree to which statistics meet the current and potential needs of user.

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. This is where debtors make their own arrangements with creditors or enter informal debt management plans with a debt management firm. The demand for statutory debt solutions should be seen within the context of the wider debt solution market.

This demand will be affected by changes in the legislative and regulative environment. For example, changes to regulatory procedures operated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This could affect the supply of non-statutory solutions and in turn the demand for statutory debt solutions.

Key users of AiB’s insolvency statistics are:

  • AiB
  • the insolvency profession
  • debt advice agencies
  • media organisations
  • academics
  • creditors 
  • the general public

In early 2020, AiB launched an online survey asking users for feedback on this official statistics publication series. This remains available and AiB will address user feedback to investigate how well the current set of statistics meet user needs.

Accuracy

Accuracy is the closeness between an estimated result and the (unknown) true value.

All formal insolvency procedures entered into by a company, a partnership or an individual are required by law to be reported to the appropriate body. So the statistics should be a complete record of statutory insolvency in Scotland.

The number of statutory debt solutions and statutory moratorium on diligence are based on:

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

This is not on the date it was registered on the administrative recording system. This does not have any implication for cases processed within AiB. The published number of creditor petitions may be influenced by the late reporting of creditor petitions court orders. This may lead to missing data. Under the current revision policy, figures on creditor petitions are revised quarterly to account for late reporting or missing cases.

The number of corporate insolvencies are based on the date the insolvency was registered on the AiB system (BASYS). The corporate insolvency figures may be influenced by the late reporting of orders. This may lead to a quarter’s figures containing cases awarded in the previous quarter. This should be noted when making comparisons of trends over time or comparing with other sources of data. This includes those published by The Insolvency Service, and Companies House.

Data validation processes are in place to:

  • identify and resolve erroneous data inputs and duplication of cases or
  • when extracting data from the administrative systems, to make sure that returns cover all debt solutions and
  • to check the accuracy and consistency within tables and between related tables

Timeliness and punctuality

Timeliness refers to the time gap between the publication date and the reference period for the statistics.

Punctuality is the time lag between the actual and planned dates of publication for the statistics.

These statistics are published on the fourth Wednesday of the month following the end of the quarter being reported on. This publication date allows for:

  • receipt of all the data inputs
  • time for quality assurance of the data extracts
  • time for tabulating records
  • time to compile the statistical release

This means there is an approximate one month lag between the end of the financial quarter and the publication of the statistics.

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 practicable – Official statistics: forthcoming publications - gov.scot

Accessibility and clarity

Accessibility is the ease with which users can access the statistics and data. This includes the format in which data is available and availability of supporting information.

Clarity is the quality and sufficiency of the commentary, illustrations, accompanying advice and technical details.

The Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics are available free of charge to users on the AiB website. They are published as HTML and a Word document via the AiB website and ScotStat. The accompanying tables are also published in the Excel format. We aim to make our publications and accompanying tables as accessible as possible. If there are users who wish to receive our publication in a specific format please contact us. Contact details are at the beginning of our publication report for any requests.

It is important to ensure that statistics are presented in a clear, unambiguous way. This is to support and promote use by all types of users. To this end, we have adopted the use of plain language as much as possible. The main findings are presented using a series of text and charts. Technical terms, acronyms and definitions are defined and explained when this is appropriate. These approaches would ensure that the statistics can be used effectively.

AiB does want readers and users’ feedback on any aspect of these statistics. Users are encouraged to complete our online survey or get in touch with us. Contact details and link to the online survey are at the beginning of our publication report.

Comparability

Comparability is the degree to which statistics can be compared over time, region or another domain.

Statutory debt solutions statistics can be compared between different types of debt solutions. They can 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 change 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.

Coherence

Coherence is the degree to which the statistical processes that generate two or more outputs use the same concepts and harmonised methods.

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.

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.

AiB publishes year end totals of the quarterly statistics in its annual statistics publication series. These numbers may differ slightly to those reported throughout the year. The annual statistics are subsequently revised to match. In these annual statistics publications, statistics by local authority areas are included. This is achieved by matching the postcode with the Standard Geography Code Register: statistics.gov.scot: Standard Geography Code Register.. By adopting the standard geography code, this ensures geographical harmonisation and coherence. Thus, the data is consistent over time between local authority areas within Scotland. Note, when producing statistics by local authority areas, numbers may differ slightly. This is because postcodes of debtors cannot always be assigned. Where this occurs these differences will be highlighted.

AiB is required to be notified of all company liquidations and receiverships in Scotland. AiB publishes quarterly official statistics based on its own administrative records. These differ from the Insolvency Service’s Insolvency Statistics publications. The Insolvency Service use data from Companies House as their source. Differences are due to AiB using its own administrative system’s data rather than the start date of the insolvency.

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