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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Troubled Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell MP claims she was unaware of her husband’s complex financial arrangements.  But it seems from the results of a recent survey that David Mills isn’t alone in keeping his partner in the dark about his finances.

A poll of 120 people by personal insolvency specialists W3 Debt Solutions, part of the Begbies Traynor Group, found that over a tenth (12%) of respondents openly admitted they had financial interests or debts that their partner was unaware of. 

More worryingly, almost a fifth (18%) had lied to their partner about their finances.

Indeed, 13% of those polled had suspected their partner was secretly hiding spending from them. And a quarter of people in long term relationships said they did not know what their other half earned.

Some people, it seems, deceive their friends too.  Eight per cent said they claimed their finances were healthier than they actually were, while 18% disguised their true wealth by pretending to be worse off.

More positively, only 6% said that they hid ownership of certain credit or store cards from their other half.  And two thirds shared responsibility for paying household bills.

While only 44% had a joint bank account, partners are still likely to share financial information on areas like holiday costs (85%), credit card bills (75%) and mortgage payments (74%).

However, when it comes to being in debt, clearly these days we are less bothered by it.  A whopping 70% said today that there is less social stigma attached to indebtedness.

Greg Mullarkey, Chief Executive of W3 Debt Solutions, said:

“Tessa Jowell and David Mills clearly are not that unusual when it comes to people hiding financial information from their partners.  But I must admit to being very surprised that in these modern times 25% of couples still don’t tell each other what they earn.

“It’s equally worrying that 15% of people said that if their partner suddenly came into a large sum of money, they wouldn’t expect to know where it came from.

“From this, it’s easy to see how someone can get away with hiding debt or spending habits from their other half.”

Enquiries, please contact:

Greg Mullarkey                                  Joanne Fletcher-Wall
W3 Debt Solutions                                       or Sarah Hooley
01257 271 188                                                          Bell Pottinger North    
                                                         01625 617 611

Notes to editors:

About Begbies Traynor Group plc

The Group specialises in business insolvency management and is becoming increasingly active in the area of personal insolvency. It also offers services in corporate rescue and investigation services and has entered the field of corporate finance.

In November 2005, the Group entered the rapidly-expanding volume personal insolvency market via the acquisition of W3 Debt Solutions, a firm specialising in providing advice and practical support to individuals in debt. 

The Group has grown to its current network of 30 nationwide offices ranging from Scotland to the South West of England, with 350 operatives. The Company continues to pursue its strategy of organic development, coupled with the acquisition of specialist knowledge of both individuals and firms, to further increase its market share in its core services.

The Directors believe that the Group is the UK's largest independent insolvency, corporate rescue and recovery specialist with clients ranging from major institutions to individuals with business difficulties.


The Office Network

The Group operates with 60 licensed insolvency appointment takers, some 225 fee earning staff and 65 in support and administration. The Group operates from 30 locations of which five are regional offices, a further 12 are full offices and 13 are satellites.

Business Activities

The core business of the Group is the formal administration of insolvencies including receiverships, liquidations, administrations, company voluntary arrangements and business-related personal insolvencies. The Group has extended its activities into a range of consultancy services including corporate rescue, credit management, forensic and investigation services and corporate finance.


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