SHOCKING new statistics show that Clydesdale came second highest in an average outstanding debt table covering regions across the whole of Scotland.
The figures – released by StepChange Debt Charity Scotland – show that Clydesdale users of its service last year had average debts of over £19,000.
Only the Glasgow region of Eastwood was higher, on £23,000.
“It is a very worrying trend that our Clydesdale clients are second in the average outstanding debt statistics,” said StepChange public affairs officer James Stewart.
“We have double the amount of clients from Clydesdale as those from Eastwood, the Glasgow district which is second highest in the Scottish table.
“A rural area like Carluke can be more affected by things like high petrol prices and delivery charges.
“And nearly half our customers in Clydesdale have mortgage arrears.”
The Carluke-based Clydesdale Food Bank saw a mammoth 27 per cent increase in referrals over the festive period as impoverished folk received free hand-outs of foods like tinned soup, beans, pastas, vegetables and fish.
And it would seem that the direct correlation between high debt figures and high food bank usage in Clydesdale cannot be overestimated.
James added: “People are using food banks more and more, although that is not the case with all of our clients. You could be in the middle- income or high-earning bracket and still be in debt.”
For more on this story pick up a copy of this week’s Carluke and Lanark Gazette, which is in the shops now.