Around 40 Scots will declare themselves bankrupt each day this year as they struggle to cope with rising levels of debt accumulated during the economic downturn, business experts warn.

Accountants and business advisers BDO LLP say that despite improving economic conditions, many people are still facing up to the legacy of the credit crunch.

The firm is predicting that just under 15,000 Scots will have been sequestrated (the Scottish term for bankruptcy) or taken out a Protected Trust Deed (PTD) by the end 2014, similar to the numbers who went under last year.

Rising utility bills, higher food costs and frozen wages were said to be the main factors preventing people from clearing their debts.

There is also the possibility that interest levels will go up this year, pushing many delicately-balanced household budgets over the edge.

Bryan Jackson, business restructuring partner with BDO LLP, said: "There are signs that the economy is beginning to recover and that the six-year period in the economic doldrums is coming to an end.

"However, for many individuals, debts accumulated years ago continue to plague them and they are extremely susceptible to changes in personal circumstances."

"A reduction in overtime payments or increases in living costs can tip these individuals over the edge. They may use payday loans to cover themselves in the short term but the debts will simply accumulate and eventually they will be made bankrupt. If interest rates start to increase sooner than expected I believe we will suddenly see a spike in the levels of insolvency in Scotland."