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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Peter Sargent, partner at Begbies Traynor, the UK’s largest independent insolvency specialist, is calling for the Government to launch a national campaign, aimed at children, to raise awareness of the debt risks attached to credit cards.

In the advent of the launch of credit cards for children - a trend common in the US and started in the UK by MasterCard-supported Bluecorner - Peter firmly believes that now is the time for Government involvement: “Cards offered by companies like Bluecorner are superficially harmless and even market themselves as educational. The official line is that these cards can teach children how to handle money and therefore help prevent credit card debt later in life.

“I strongly doubt that will be the case. Having worked as an insolvency practitioner for many years, I see myself as working at the coalface and I see the results when people are credit happy. I believe that children ape their parents’ habits when it comes to spending and, as a nation, our reliance on plastic has got out of hand. I would go as far as to say that the Government has a duty to work with schools to educate children regarding the dangers of credit card spending.”

Peter applauds NatWest’s Face 2 Face with Finance - an education programme which drives practical financial knowledge and experience and works with schools - but calls for public spending to be set aside for this issue: “The NatWest’s scheme is one of several privately sponsored schemes and is a good initiative. However, I believe that it is the Government’s responsibility to ensure that the message hits home. In short, they’re not doing enough.”


Enquiries, please contact:

Peter Sargent                           Joanne Fletcher-Wall
Begbies Traynor Group plc                       Bell Pottinger North
01422 348448                                01625 617611

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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