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The number of decrees and total amount of debt registered against Scottish consumers rose in the first half of 2021 (H1 2021) compared to the same period last year, according to figures released today (27.07.2021) by Registry Trust.

The number increased from 6,849 to 8,043 in H1 2021, a rise of 17 percent from H1 2020. The total value rose by 23 percent, from £18.8 million to £23.1 million. The average value was up slightly, by 4.8 percent, from £2,742 to £2,876. The median value rose by 16 percent, from £1,454 to £1,689.

In contrast, the number of decrees against Scottish businesses fell, by 19 percent, from 990 to 799. The total value fell by 29 percent, from just under £5 million to £3.5 million. The average value fell by 12 percent, from £5,045 to £4,438. However, the median value rose by 46 percent from £1,442 to £2,108. This suggests there were fewer very large judgments and fewer smaller judgments.

The number of decrees against incorporated businesses fell by 21 percent, from 839 to 665. The total value saw a similar fall, down 22 percent from £3.7 million to £2.9 million. The average value was slightly lower, down just under two percent from £4,463 to £4,390. The median value rose by nearly two-thirds from £1,317 to £2,169.

Decrees against smaller businesses also fell, by 11 percent, from 151 to 134. The total value nearly halved from £1.25 million to £626,393. As a result, the average value saw a similar large drop of 44 percent from £8,278 to £4,675. The median value rose by eight percent from £1,700 to £1,840.

Trust chair Mick McAteer said: “We saw a large rise in the number and value of decrees recorded against Scottish consumers in this quarter compared to the same period last year. At that time, interventions by government and regulators, and forbearance by creditors, in response to the Covid crisis had kept judgment numbers at historically low levels. But, as these measures were wound down, numbers began to rise again. The Covid economic crisis is far from over for financially vulnerable households. Scottish businesses fared better with decrees continuing to fall”.

- Ends –

Half Year 1 2020 Half Year 1 2021 Change (compared with 2020)
Decrees against consumers
volume 6,849 8,043 17.4%
total value £18,778,096 £23,127,869 23.2%
average* value £2,742 £2,876 4.8%
median value £1,454 £1,689 16.2%
Decrees against all businesses
volume 990 799 -19.3%
total value £4,994,617 £3,545,832 -29.0%
average* value £5,045 £4,438 -12.0%
median value £1,442 £2,108 46.1%
Decrees against incorporated businesses
volume 839 665 -20.7%
total value £3,744,625 £2,919,439 -22.0%
average* value £4,463 £4,390 -1.6%
median value £1,317 £2,169 64.6%
Decrees against unincorporated businesses
volume 151 134 -11.2%
total value £1,249,992 £626,393 -49.8%
average* value £8,278 £4,675 -43.5%
median value £1,700 £1,840 8.2%
volume 542 680 25.5%
total value £2,421,305 £1,967,752 -18.7%
average* value £4,467 £2,894 -35.2%
median value £1,284 £1,228 -4.3%

For more information please contact

0207 391 7287

Notes for editors

Registry Trust is a non-profit company established in 1985 to become the Registrar of County Court Judgments. Registry Trust holds a public register of Scottish decrees. By agreement with the Scottish Courts Administration Service it collects details of undefended money decrees entered in the small claims, summary and ordinary cause sheriffs’ courts in Scotland.

Decrees are removed from the register if paid in full within one calendar month of the issue date and Registry Trust is informed, but will otherwise remain registered for six years. If fully paid outside the one calendar month, defendants can apply to Registry Trust to have the record marked as ‘satisfied’ to improve their credit rating.

Anyone may search for entries against a named person or business at a stated address or a corporate body in the British Isles and the Republic of Ireland by visiting Registry Trust’s website or by writing to Registry Trust, 153–157 Cleveland Street, London W1T 6QW.

To view the full set of statistics, visit