Seaside towns hardest hit by personal insolvencies

26 March 2018
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Brits living in seaside towns have the highest rates of personal insolvency – where people are unable to pay their debts or meet their financial liabilities – as these areas struggle to cope with economic decline, according to new figures.

Research by accountancy firm Moore Stephens of 573 parliamentary constituencies found that seven out of the 10 towns with the largest number of people who have become insolvent were by the sea.

Plymouth takes the top spot, with 47.5 insolvencies per 10,000 people, compared with a national average of 19.9. Torbay, near Torquay in Devon, and Bootle on Merseyside were in the top five, with 44.3 and 39.6 personal insolvencies respectively.

The accountancy firm puts this down to the economy of British seaside towns facing hardship due to the decline of traditional industries such as shipbuilding and fishing, along with the popularity of package holidays overseas. It adds that personal insolvencies are increasing across the UK –the national average went up by 12% to 19.9 in 2016, from 17.8 in 2015.

Jeremy Willmont, head of restructuring and insolvency at Moore Stephens, says: “Personal debt in many British seaside towns shows no sign of improving.

“Seaside areas now come with a handicap that they are struggling to shake off. People living in these towns continue to fall into insolvency as the coastal economy fails to keep up with the rest of the country.”

See the table below for the 10 worst constituencies for personal insolvency.

 Parliamentary Constituency (of 573)Rate of insolvency per 10,000, 2016
1Plymouth47.5
2Stoke-on-Trent North44.6
3Torbay44.3
4Stoke-on-Trent South43.4
5Bootle, Liverpool39.6
6Isle of Wight38.2
7Stoke-on-Trent Central38.1
8Great Yarmouth38.1
9Scarborough and Whitby37.9
10Kingston upon Hull East37.6
 UK-wide19.9

 

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