North East Connected

North East England records highest personal insolvencies rate in England and Wales for sixth successive year

North East England has recorded the highest rate of personal insolvency anywhere in England and Wales – for the sixth successive year.

According to the latest official Insolvency Service figures, there were 28.7 individual insolvencies per 10,000 adults across the North East in 2021, compared to an overall average of 23.4 cases per 10,000 adults across the two nations.

The regional rate is around 75 per cent higher than the individual insolvency rate in London, which recorded the lowest rate of 16.3 cases per 10,000 adults, while the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber regions both recorded 26.5 individual insolvencies per 10,000 adults.

In the light of the current cost of living crisis, the North East chair of insolvency and restructuring trade body R3, Chris Ferguson, is now advising anyone who has concern about their financial situation to seek qualified advice as soon as possible around how their money worries might best be addressed.

North Tyneside was the north east parliamentary constituency with the highest personal insolvency rate in the region (39.4 cases per 10,000 adults), followed by Stockton North, Easington, South Shields and Redcar.

The total insolvency rate across the UK decreased for the second consecutive year, with the trend likely to have been partly driven by enhanced government financial support measures put in place to support people during Covid-19.

Chris Ferguson, who is head of recovery & insolvency at Gosforth-based RMT Accountants & Business Advisors, says: “Despite recognition of the need for ‘levelling up’, it is disappointing to see the disparity between the North and the South continuing as is starkly demonstrated by rates of insolvency across the regions.

“The North East, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West, has once again recorded the highest concentrations of personal insolvency of any regions nationwide, while five of the London boroughs and parts of the South East again saw the lowest levels.

“Higher personal insolvency rates are often a symptom of wider deprivation, and while the government’s support figures have to some extent masked growing poverty, there’s no doubt that the pandemic has polarised ‘winners and losers’ with many of those living in less affluent areas facing greater hardship.”

“Given the current sharp increase in the cost of living which will be worsened by further energy price rises, it is more important than ever that people are aware of the debt advice services and options available to them to deal with their financial concerns.

“We urge anyone who is worried about their finances to seek advice as soon as possible. Talking about money worries can be a challenging conversation to have, but having it earlier gives you more options, more time to make decisions and will almost certainly result in a better overall outcome than waiting until the problem has become more serious.”

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