Banks write off 80% less Personal Debt

Today the UK’s leading financial capability charity The Money Charity releases its Debt Statistics, giving an overview of the financial situation in the UK. 

The amount of personal debt banks and building societies wrote off reached an all-time low during the first quarter of this year, new Debt Statistics from The Money Charity reveal.

In the first 3 months of this year, banks and building societies wrote off less debt to individuals than at any point since 2008; the equivalent of £7.3m a day.

In total, £669m of individual debt (including credit card debt) was written off; a figure that has plummeted by over 80% since Q2 2010, when the amount written off was £3.447bn.

The amount of credit card debt written off between January and March this year was also at a record low; reaching £319m. This is 28.2% (£263m) less than the same period last year.

Similar to that of individual debt, Q2 2010 was also the highest period for credit card write-offs (£2.138bn), which has now dropped by 85.1%.


Michelle Highman, Chief Executive of The Money Charity, comments;

“The significant decline in the amount of personal debt being written off by banks may be a sign that people are better managing their debt and trying to stay on top of their money. However, it could also mean that banks are less willing to just write debt off and are showing a greater disposition to collecting repayments, including via debt management plans.

Whatever the rationale, if you are borrowing money it is crucial to have an idea of how you will meet the repayments and whether it is something you can really afford to do. Creating a budget is one of the best ways to help manage your money in order to tackle debt and rein in your spending. The Money Charity has a range of free tools and resources to help you get on top of your money (

If you worried about keeping up with your debts, seek advice from one of the free and independent organisations available, including StepChange Debt Charity (0800 138 1111).”


Latest figures include:

  1. £54,629: average household debt (including mortgages) in April, up from £54,556 in March
  2. £6,065: average household debt (excluding mortgages) in April, up from £6,057 in March
  3. £161 million of interest was paid every day on personal debt in April
  4. £1.496 billion: daily value of all plastic card purchases in March
  5. 1,400 people were made redundant every day between January and March
  6. 813,000 people had been unemployed for over a year, between January and March
  7. Every 5 minutes 12 seconds someone was declared bankrupt or insolvent
  8. £1.443 trillion was the value of outstanding personal debt at the end of April, up from the same period last year
  9. £64.96: the cost to fill a 50-litre tank with unleaded petrol in May 2014
  10. 71 properties are repossessed every day

You can get the full picture at