The number of debt decrees registered against Scottish businesses fell to a record low during 2017, according to figures released today by Registry Trust. There were 2,192 decrees issued against businesses in Scotland during 2017, 38 percent fewer than the previous year.

The fall in decrees registered, coupled with a 58 percent decrease in the mean average value of a business decree led to the total value of business judgments plummeting 76 percent to £12m, the lowest on record. The extent of this decrease was in part due to two large judgments to the value of £21.5m in 2016. Excluding these decrees, there was a 51 percent decrease in the total value of judgments; the mean average business judgment fell 20 percent to £5,495.

The drop in the mean average value of business decrees was caused by a sharp decrease in the mean average value of judgments against companies; by contrast, for generally smaller unincorporated businesses, there was a five percent increase in mean average value.

“The sharp fall in decrees against Scottish companies last year was good news for the Scottish economy,” said Malcolm Hurlston CBE, chairman of Registry Trust. “Successful borrowing and fewer decrees recorded set the scene for a confident 2018.

“Scottish consumers and businesses however need to make a point of telling Registry Trust when they have paid off a decree so we can mark it as satisfied and improve their record. In an ideal world claimants will tell us too but it will take time to implement a voluntary system.”

Business statistics

  •       2017 adjusted Decrees against all businesses*

○        Total: 2,192 (down 38 percent)

○        Value: £12.0m (down 51 percent)

○        Mean average: £5,495 (down 20 percent)

○        Median: £1,649 (down six percent)

  •       2017 adjusted Decrees against incorporated businesses*

○        Total: 1,474 (down nine percent)

○        Value: £9.2m (down 46 percent)

○        Mean average: £6,251 (down 41 percent)

○        Median: £1,714 (down nine percent)

  •       2017 Decrees against unincorporated businesses

○        o Total: 718 (down 62 percent)

○        o Total: £2.8m (down 60 percent)

○        o Mean average: £3,943 (up five percent)

○        Median: £1,539 (down seven percent)

*Discounting two outlying judgments against incorporated businesses, from 2016, worth a combined value of £21.5m.