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Financial advice service starts face-to-face pilot

Moneymadeclear, the web-based financial guidance service from the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority, is piloting a face-to-face and telephone service in northern England.

The service offers impartial guidance on personal finance including advice on coping with changing circumstances and wise borrowing. It also directs consumers to specialist advice firms if necessary.

The facility is aiming to reach up to 750,000 consumers in northern England by spring 2010, ahead of a potential nationwide rollout. The development emerged from recommendations included in the Thoresen Review last March.

Ian Pearson, economic secretary to the Treasury, says: “Those facing money concerns need to know that good, practical help is at hand. This launch marks a milestone on the journey to achieving the government’s objective of a national money guidance service.”

Chris Pond, director of financial capability at the FSA, says: “Improving the public’s ability to make financial decisions is in everybody’s interests. If consumers know what they want and how to get it the financial services market will become less one-sided and more efficient.”


Uncertain about auctions

I’m still making my mind up about the US auction house that has graced our shores in the past month. Real Estate Disposition Corporation – usually known as REDC – specialises in repossessed properties. Nothing wrong with that but rather than sellers, i.e. lenders, being charged the average 2% to 3% UK fee, buyers pay 10% of the purchase price to REDC. And that’s the bit I’m not sure about.

Pensioners using equity release to pay mortgage

Research by equity release specialist Key Retirement Solutions, reveals that an increasing number of pensioners are turning to equity release to pay off their mortgage.


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