Visit Britain, Declare Yourself Bankrupt!


Here’s something that Visit Britain doesn’t seem to feature as a British tourist attraction: the fact that it’s so easy to declare yourself bankrupt here compared with other parts of Europe.

An interesting but slightly annoying story came out today that foreign nationals with big debts are moving to Britain to take advantage of our more lenient bankruptcy rules.

It seems the Germans are particularly fond of moving over here, with the promise that they can get their debts cleared after living here for just 12 months, as opposed to almost 9 years if they were to stay in Germany (in Ireland it’s as long as 12 years). Tunbridge Wells is apparently their destination of choice, because of the proximity to the Continent, and the fact that there is an established ex-German population there.

In the scale of things, these foreign nationals only make up a small percentage of the total number of bankruptcies (probably a few hundred out of the 60,000 bankruptcies each year), but their debts will need paying somehow, and how well will they treat UK companies if they’ve failed to pay back debts in their homeland?

It shows how lenient our laws are surrounding bankruptcy, if people are willing to move here from abroad for a few years.

Creative Commons License photo credit: eisenbahner

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *