Individual Voluntary Arrangements, so-called IVAs, have accounted for a record £1.4bn in bad debt written off by lenders this year, reports the Times.
IVAs were used by some 45,000 people over he year, twice the number in 2005, with those using the alternative approach to bankruptcy each having some £52,000 in debt, the paper says.
Accountant KPMG estimates this figure comes on top of some 65,000 personal bankruptcies, with total individual insolvencies hitting more than 110,000 over a year for the first time ever.
Banks have complained about more widespread use of IVAs among consumers as they were originally introduced by the Thatcher government to encourage more business startups not to handle personal debt problems, but are receiving little sympathy because of counter-charrges they have been too lax with lending standards.
The Telegraph says rising interest rates and council tax increases have both contributed to more widespread use of IVAs. It notes business is booming for those companies that advise consumers on the use of such agreements.
The paper also picks up on KPMG’s figures, noting the accountant also estimates some 3,000 people involved had debts of more than £100,000.
FIGURES OF ANOTHER kind are noted in The Guardian, which reports on Aviva’s statement it is to go carbon neutral across its global operations by next year.
Some 100,000 tonnes of carbon offset covering 2006 are to have been implemented by the first quarter of next year.
The change is part of a drive which is also seeing the company develop ‘green’ products, such as its pay-as-you-drive car insurance, which apart from being pitched as saving customers money is also put forward as a policy which encourages less driving in the first place.
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