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Debt advice needed in time of cutbacks

BRIAN FERGUSON, DIRECTOR, INVOCAS FINANCIAL
BRIAN FERGUSON, DIRECTOR, INVOCAS FINANCIAL

The saying that a stitch in time saves nine may be so well-worn that it has almost lost its meaning but the argument that early intervention is preferable to last-minute action still holds true.

As the UK faces up to public sector cuts the importance of brokers’ ability to help their clients tackle personal debt issues is coming into sharp focus.

With job losses, pay freezes and benefits cuts likely to be a feature of the next few years the repercussions will be felt far beyond the public sector.

For example, some private firms are likely to face reduced income from public contracts which may lead to cost-cutting.

As redundancies take effect many consumers who were coping with personal debt could suddenly find themselves out of their depth and unable to meet repayments.

The hope is that private sector growth will offset public sector losses but how that will play out is unclear. For those who secure new posts, the Office of National Statistics suggest many will earn less than before.

The ONS reports that in the three months to May 2010 the number of part-time workers rose by almost 150,000.

But advisers have a chance to provide support for clients and help them become debt-free.

Speed is of the essence when it comes to personal debt. The sooner a debt problem is identified, the quicker a fix can be provided.

Brokers can be vital to clients’ financial recovery by listening to their problems and acting quickly to help them find tailored solutions.

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