Bargain hunters urged to shop for money advice

By on 21/06/2010 in News

Led by Jacqui Kennedy, Director of Regulatory Services at Birmingham City Council, the city's Financial Inclusion Partnership aims to give residents information and support to help them manage their finances.

Many people in the city are not currently using low cost financial products such as bank accounts and low interest rate loans.

This is due to a number of different factors, such as unexpected redundancy and getting into debt, poor credit record or lacking information about managing money.

People turn instead to the alternative credit market, e.g., loan sharks, doorstep lenders, and companies who offer instant cash at extortionate lending rates, which often only exacerbates money worries and debt.

This debt spiral often leads to further social exclusion, as people struggle to manage tenancies and household bills, leading to problems such as homelessness, ill health and poverty.

The Financial Inclusion Partnership organise regular outreach events for residents, the latest of which is a Money Makeover Day on Saturday, 26 June from 10am to 3pm in Edgbaston Street in the Bullring, near the indoor market.

Experts from the agencies which form the partnership will be providing free advice and information. This includes; the council's Debt Advice Team and Illegal Money Lending Team, Citizens Advice Bureau, Birmingham Settlement, Consumer Financial Education Body, Neighbourhood Advice, Rent Service; Pertemps People Development Group, Pay Plan, credit unions, housing associations, and local utility companies.

Jacqui Kennedy, Director of Regulatory Services at Birmingham City Council, said:

“Money worries are one of the biggest sources of stress and can cause abject misery, destroy families and cause health problems. 

“There can be a tendency for people to adopt an ostrich mentality, burying their heads in the sand, hoping that the problem will go away, but this usually leads to greater pressures.

“There is a lot of help out there; people should not feel ashamed to ask for support, it is the first step to turning a bad situation around before it gets worse.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Hayley Meachin on 0121 303 1271/ 07920 750007  hayley.meachin@birmingham.gov.uk

Note to Editors

Local people who have concerns about their financial situation but are unable to attend the event can contact the Financial Inclusion Partnership by email financialinclusionpartnership@birmingham.gov.uk or visit the FIP pages at www.birmingham.gov.uk/financialinclusion for further information.

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