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The number of decrees and total amount of debt registered against Scottish consumers fell sharply in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to figures released today (08.01.2021) by Registry Trust.

The number of decrees fell by 27 percent from 4,984 to 3,654. The total value fell from £12.9 million to £10.8 million, a fall of 16 percent compared to the same period last year. The average value of decrees rose by 15 percent from £2,582 to £2,961, with the median value rising nine percent from £1,453 to £1,580.

Decrees against Scottish businesses also fell, by 44 percent, from 859 to 481. However, the total value rose by 69 percent from just over £3 million to £5.1 million. As a result, the average value rose from £3,500 to £10,534, an increase of 200 percent. The median value rose by 142 percent from £1,068 to £2,580.

The number of decrees against larger firms fell by 43 percent, from 721 to 411. The total value rose by 92 percent, from just over £2 million to £3.9 million, with the average value up 237 percent, from £2,798 to £9,437. Decrees against smaller businesses also fell 49 percent, from 138 to 70. The total value rose by 20 percent from just under £1 million to £1.2 million, with the average value up 137 percent, from £7,169 to £16,976.

Trust chairman Mick McAteer said: “Interventions by government and regulators, and forbearance by creditors, have helped Scottish consumers and businesses during the Covid-19 crisis. But, as feared, numbers are now rising sharply again as the economic effects of the pandemic work their way through the system.”

Half Year 2019 Half Year 2020 Change (compared with 2019)
Decrees against consumers
volume 4,984 3,654 -26.69%
total value £12,866,883 £10,818,541 -15.92%
average* value £2,582 £2,961 14.68%
median value £1,453 £1,580 8.74%
Decrees against all businesses
volume 859 481 -44.00%
total value £3,006,544 £5,067,016 68.53%
average* value £3,500 £10,534 200.98%
median value £1,068 £2,580 141.57%
Decrees against incorporated businesses
volume 721 411 -43.00%
total value £2,017,158 £3,878,720 92.29%
average* value £2,798 £9,437 237.32%
median value £880 £2,825 221.02%
Decrees against unincorporated businesses
volume 138 70 -49.28%
total value £989,386 £1,188,296 20.10%
average* value £7,169 £16,976 136.78%
median value £1,887 £2,090 10.73%
volume 201 317 57.71%
total value £503,856 £708,058 40.52%
average* value £2,507 £2,234 -10.90%
median value £1,093 £1,182 8.14%

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