MEDIA RELEASE: 7,910 personal insolvencies in the March quarter 2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Australian Financial Security Authority today released the personal insolvency activity statistics for the March quarter 2018.

Quarterly personal insolvency activity in Australia*

* From the September quarter 2017, geographic coding of personal insolvency statistics follows a new method.

Personal insolvency in the March quarter 2018

There were 7,910 new personal insolvencies in the March quarter 2018. This is a slight increase of 0.1% compared to the March quarter 2017.

By type of personal insolvency:

  • bankruptcies decreased by 1.8%
  • debt agreements increased by 3.9%
  • personal insolvency agreements decreased by 59.3% (from a relatively small base).

Total personal insolvencies rose to reach a record quarterly high in Western Australia (1,020), and the highest level since September quarter 2014 in New South Wales (2,372). They also rose in year-on-year terms in Northern Territory and Tasmania, and fell in all other states and territories.

Nationally, there were 3,725 debt agreements in the March quarter 2018. Debt agreements reached a record quarterly high of 1,219 in New South Wales in the March quarter 2018.

Personal insolvency agreements fell to 37 in the March quarter 2018. This is the lowest quarterly level on record, and follows the first year-on-year fall since the March quarter 2016.

Debtors with a business-related personal insolvency

In the March quarter 2018, 16.1% of debtors entered a business related personal insolvency. Where we could identify a specific cause:

  • economic conditions (331 debtors) was the most common business related cause
  • excessive use of credit (2,438 debtors) was the most common non-business related cause.