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Bankruptcies tumble to 24-year low: AFSA

The number of bankruptcies in Australia has fallen to a 24-year low, according to the Australian Financial Security Authority.

The Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) has reported that bankruptcies have dropped 9.2 per cent year-on-year to 3,765 in the March 2019 quarter, compared to 4,148 in the same quarter in 2018.

The March quarter figure also represents the lowest level of bankruptcies since the same quarter in 1995.

Falls in bankruptcies were recorded in all states and territories except the ACT, with Tasmania experiencing the largest year-on-year decline, at 37.5 per cent from 120 to 75.

However, Queensland recorded the largest number of bankruptcies nationwide, at 1,103 in the March 2019 quarter, down 12.6 per cent from 1,262 a year earlier.


The second largest number of bankruptcies was seen in NSW, at 1,037 in the March 2019 quarter, down 9.1 per cent from 1,141 in the previous year.

Additionally, there were 2,552 debt agreements in the March quarter, down 31.5 per cent from 3,725 in the previous corresponding period, with the sharpest fall recorded in the ACT (57.6 per cent from 66 to 28).

Nationally, it was the smallest number of debt agreements recorded since the September quarter in 2013.

However, the number of debt agreements in NSW was the highest nationwide, at 745 in the most recent quarter, down 38.9 per cent from 1,219 in the previous corresponding period.

Total personal insolvencies also decreased by 19.4 per cent year-on-year from 7,910 in the March 2018 quarter to 6,753 in the most recent quarter. According to AFSA, 18 per cent of personal insolvencies are business-related.

The biggest year-on-year drop in personal insolvencies, at 31.4 per cent over the year from 102 to 70, was recorded in the ACT.  

However, the largest figure was recorded in Queensland, at 1,885 in the March 2019 quarter, down 17 per cent year-on-year from 2,271.  

The number of personal insolvencies was also high in NSW and Victoria in the most recent quarter, at 1,794 (-24.2 per cent year-on-year from 2,372) and 1,114 (-18.1 per cent year-on-year from 1,360).  

Personal insolvency agreements, on the other hand, increased by 48.6 per cent over the year from 37 to 55 in the March 2019 quarter. This was driven by a 300 per cent surge in Western Australia from three to 12, a 200 per cent rise in South Australia from one to three, and 46.2 per cent increase in Queensland from 13 to 19.  

[Related: Treasurer renews call for ‘free-flowing’ credit]

Bankruptcies tumble to 24-year low: AFSA

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