Seaside towns suffer from highest concentration of personal insolvencies

news release

Seaside towns suffer from highest concentration of personal insolvencies

Lowest levels of insolvencies in London boroughs

Nottingham, UK, 02 November 2012 – Britain’s coastal communities are suffering from the highest level of bankruptcies compared to the rest of the UK, according to new analysis from Experian, the global information services company .

While figures published today by the Insolvency Service  showed there were 7.2 per cent fewer personal insolvencies in Q3 2012 compared with the same quarter in 2011, certain pockets of the UK are in stark contrast.

Regional hotspots

Experian’s analysis of insolvency statistics found that of the top ten communities appearing most frequently in the highest concentration of personal insolvencies list, only one – Motherwell, near Glasgow - was inland. The analysis also revealed that eight out of the top ten bankruptcy hotspots are in Scotland.

Kirkcaldy, Falkirk and Clydebank saw the greatest numbers of personal insolvencies in July to September 2012, with 20 in every 10,000 households being declared insolvent. In Clydebank in West Dunbartonshire, bankruptcies increased by 87% when compared with the same quarter in 2011. While Scotland’s coastal communities bore the brunt of insolvencies in Q3 2012, key tourist resorts in England also recorded increasing bankruptcy levels; Hartlepool, Weston-super-Mare and Scarborough saw personal insolvencies rise by 98 per cent, 43 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

  1 See Table 2
  2 The Insolvency Service, 2nd November 2012

The picture is a little brighter for London as boroughs such as Hammersmith, Wandsworth, London’s West End and Kensington recorded the lowest levels of personal insolvencies in Q3 2012. St Albans saw the UK’s biggest fall, with one in every 10,000 households being declared insolvent, 55 per cent less than in Q3 2011. 

Demographic insight

Experian’s demographic analysis using its Mosaic classification revealed that insolvencies in the UK increased the most amongst the Claimant Cultures segment. This group, which represents some of the most disadvantaged individuals in the UK, saw insolvencies increase by 51 basis points compared to the same period last year and now accounts for 8.99 per cent of all insolvencies across the UK.

The Ex-Council Community group, consisting of people who have a comfortable lifestyle, living in ex-council homes and the Industrial Heritage segment, families and couples who have mainly paid off their mortgages and have historically been dependent on manufacturing for their livelihood, also saw insolvencies increase between July and September 2012. These groups represented 14.77 per cent and 10.09 per cent of insolvencies respectively in Q3 this year. The largest share of UK insolvencies continues to be within the Ex-Council Community demographic.

In stark contrast, the suburban middle class experienced the biggest drop in their share of personal insolvencies in the last 12 months.  The Suburban Mindsets group, consisting of middle-aged and middle class families saw its proportion of insolvencies decrease by 48 basis points to 10.50 per cent in Q3 2012.  The Careers and Kids group, typically young, middle-class couples with children also experienced a fall in its share of insolvencies, from 6.34 per cent in Q3 2011 to 5.96 per cent in Q3 2012.

Jonathan Westley, Managing Director of Consumer Information Services at Experian UK & Ireland, comments:  “Our analysis shows that most of the areas identified in the top ten have also seen higher than average rates of business insolvencies, which may have impacted unemployment levels and pushed them to the top of the league table for personal insolvencies.

“Lenders that use data and analytics are better placed to identify and segment customers by their specific needs and characteristics. This enables organisations to better identify those that are genuinely struggling to service their household bills and credit commitments and treat them sensitively and according to their individual needs.”

Insolvency Table
Insolvency Table


Chantal Heckford / Maddy Morgan Williams
Lansons Communications
020 7490 8828 / 

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2012 was US$4.5 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 44 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

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