Personal insolvencies rise with seaside towns worst hit

The highest rates of personal insolvency across Britain are occurring in coastal areas, according to new research.

Figures from accountancy firm Moore Stephens reveal that seven of the ten towns with the highest personal insolvency rates were near the sea.

Focusing on those that were unable to meet their financial liabilities or to pay their debts, the research looked at 573 parliamentary constituencies.

With coastal regions particularly hard hit by the uncertain nature of the economy, Plymouth had the highest rate of personal insolvency of any region in the UK.

Recording 47.5 insolvencies per 10,000 people, the figure for Plymouth is more than double the national average of 19.9.

Two further seaside locations, Torbay in Devon and Bootle on Merseyside, also featured in the top five, recording personal insolvency rates of 44.3 and 39.6 respectively.

Stoke‐on‐Trent North and Stoke‐on‐Trent South featured in second and fourth, with personal insolvency rates 0.6 either side of 44.

Overall levels of personal insolvency are increasing across the UK, as the national average jumped by 12% between 2015 and 2016, from 17.8 to 19.9.

The data reveals that the situation relating to personal debts in many seaside towns in not improving and points to the economy in these locations failing to keep up with other regions.

As well as the seaside locations already listed, the Isle of Wight, Great Yarmouth, Scarborough and Whitby, and Kingston‐Upon‐Hull East all featured in the top ten, with levels of personal insolvency ranging between 38.2 and 37.6 per 10,000 people.

Stoke‐on‐Trent Central was the only other non‐coastal area to feature in the top ten, with 38.1 people per 10,000 entering personal insolvency.

For those facing difficult times, it’s important to seek impartial independent advice in order to find the best solution. 

From debt management and individual voluntary arrangements to personal guarantees and bankruptcy, a range of options exist to help people get back on track.

By Phil Smith


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