The total value of decrees against Scottish businesses rose in 2018 compared to the previous year. But the total value of decrees against companies – the generally larger incorporated businesses – dropped to the lowest annual figure on record, according to figures released by Registry Trust.

There were 3,057 decrees issued against businesses in Scotland during 2018, 39 percent higher than the previous year.

The total value of business decrees rose seven percent, compared to 2017, to £12.8million. There was a 24 percent drop in the average value of a business decree, to £4,197; the median business decree fell by one percent to £1,625.

The total number of decrees against incorporated business rocketed by 60 percent to 2,360, although the average value of a decree in 2018 dropped 39 percent on 2017 figures. The median also fell, by 12 percent to £1,500. As a result, the total value of decrees against Scottish companies was the lowest on record at £8.9million.

The total number of unincorporated business decrees fell three percent on 2017’s figures to 697, the lowest annual figure on record. However, the total value increased by 38 percent to £3.9million, with the average value increasing by 42 percent to £5,589, the highest annual average value on record. The median value rose 27 percent to £1,955.

Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE said “2018 was a mixed bag with divergent results for businesses and consumers. We are in the process of examining the year in greater detail and paying especial attention to claimant trends…who is taking court action. This study will be of value throughout the UK.”

Business statistics

  •        Decrees against all businesses 2018 (compared with 2017)

○        Total: 3,057 (up 39 percent)

○        Total value: £12.8m (up seven percent)

○        Average* value: £4,197 (down 24 percent)

○        Median: £1625 (down one percent)

  •       Decrees against incorporated businesses 2018

○        Total: 2,360 (up 60 percent)

○        Total value: £8.9m (down three percent) [Lowest annual figure on record]

○        Average* value: £3,786 (down 39 percent)

○        Median: £1500 (down 12 percent)

  •        Decrees against unincorporated businesses 2018

○        Total: 697 (down three percent) [Lowest annual figure on record]

○        Total value: £3.9m (up 38 percent)

○        Average* value: £5,589 (up 42 percent) [Highest annual figure on record]

○        Median: £1955 (up 27 percent)

* Average value refers to the ‘mean’. The mean average tends to be higher than the median, as it is more distorted by outlying, high value cases.