Stoke-on-Trent has been identified as the debt capital of England and Wales, according to official figures.
The Midlands city had the highest rate of personal insolvencies in 2017, followed by Plymouth, Hull and Scarborough.
The former industrial centre famous for its potteries and pinpointed as a Brexit heartland, recorded an insolvency rate of 44.8 per 10,000 adults – more than double the national average.
Eight of the 10 places with the lowest numbers of people with debt problems were London boroughs, led by Westminster and Kingston upon Thames, with only nine people per 10,000.
For the country as a whole, the insolvency rate – which counts personal bankruptcies, debt relief orders and individual voluntary arrangements per 10,000 adults – rose for the second year to reach 21.4. The number of people struggling with debt went into decline in the wake of the financial crisis but since 2016 numbers have been rising again.
Britain’s personal debt mountain has ballooned in recent years, fuelled by low interest rates from the Bank of England, payday loans and increasing use of personal contract plans for buying cars. The total level of consumer debt excluding student loans surpassed £200bn in the middle of last year, returning to levels unseen since the financial crisis.
Top 10 highest insolvency rates (cases per 10,000 of population)
Kingston upon Hull 39.5
Isle of Wight 37.4
Top 10 lowest insolvency rates
Kingston upon Thames 9.0
Kensington and Chelsea 9.8
Richmond upon Thames 10.4