Piggy Bank
Image Source: 401(K) 2013
Jamie Hardesty

Is there a difference between why men and women go bankrupt?

New government statistics have revealed that the leading causes of bankruptcy in 2015 were caused by people living beyond their means, relationship breakdowns and reduced levels of income.

Perhaps most interestingly, statistics show that significant differences exist between the reasons why men and women enter bankruptcy.

One-third (34%) of men’s bankruptcies in 2015 were caused by the bankrupt’s own company running into financial problems, compared to just 13% of women’s bankruptcies. Overall, 26% of bankruptcies were caused by ‘trading’ issues.

In total, 3,005 men’s bankruptcies and 795 women’s bankruptcies were caused by trading problems in 2015, while, 5,915 men’s bankruptcies and 5,180 women’s bankruptcies were caused by non-trading problems.

The most common single cause of men’s bankruptcies in 2015 was ‘living beyond means’ (approx. 995 bankruptcies), closely followed by ‘management failure’ at their own company (990), and the bankrupt’s loss of their job (920).

The most common single cause of women’s bankruptcies in 2015 was ‘living beyond means’ (1,110), ‘relationship breakdown’ (1,075), and the loss of or a significant reduction in household income (750).

Neil Harrold, chair of trade body R3 in the North East and a partner with Hay & Kilner Solicitors, said: “The notable thing about the statistics is how they demonstrate the different financial situations men and women face.

“For men in particular, it’s often the failure of their business or the loss of their job that leads to this situation.

“On the other hand, women’s bankruptcies are disproportionately linked to relationship breakdown or a fall in household income.”

In an age where UK bankruptcies are declining for both men and women, male bankruptcy is dropping a lot more quickly than it is for females.

Women now being more likely to enter a form of insolvency is something we mustn’t ignore in a society which is already unable to close the gender pay gap.

For more information on gender and insolvency, R3’s Closing the Gap reportfrom June last year is of particular interest.

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