Personal insolvency higher among women

The personal insolvency rate between men and women has steadily widened across the last four years, according to new data from the Insolvency Service.

The latest figures for 2017 reveal that women were more likely to turn to insolvency services than men, marking a fourth consecutive year where a gender insolvency gap has been present.

Insolvency rates – including individual voluntary arrangements, debt relief orders and bankruptcy – increased in every region of England and Wales from 2016 to 2017.

Some 21.4 adults per every 10,000 faced insolvency in the last year, climbing from 19.7 in the year previously.

Although the figure is at its highest level since 2014, there is still some way to go until it reaches its peak, recorded at 30.3 in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis.

While the male personal insolvency rate was as 20.2 per every 10,000, it reached 22.6 for females in 2017, although men were still more likely to me made bankrupt.

Mark Sands, the chairman of insolvency trade body R3s personal insolvency committee, revealed that many factors can be behind the gender disparity.

He pointed to a prevalence of part‐time work among females, often in sectors with lower pay, and to the gender pay gap as being prevalent reasons.

Personal insolvency rates increased for all age groups apart from those aged over 55, with the biggest rise noted among those aged between 18 and 44.

The lowest rates of personal insolvency were among those in the capital, with the figure for London down at 14.1 per 10,000 adults.

That compares favourably to the North East were the rate jumped to 27.2 per 10,000 adults, although that is still below figures for some local authority areas.

Stoke‐on‐Trent has a personal insolvency rate of 44.8, more than double the UK average, while Plymouth, Hull, Scarborough and Blackpool also had high rates.

For individuals experiencing debt or cash flow problems, an individual voluntary arrangement may provide one solution. Alternatively, if other avenues are exhausted, bankruptcy may be the only viable way forward.

By Phil Smith




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