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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Debt experts undergo rapid expansion

The Debt Advisor and The Business Debt Advisor (part of Compass Finance Group plc. one of the fastest growing providers of tailored and innovative debt solutions) are forging ahead with their plans to become one of the region's leading providers of tailored and innovative debt solutions having almost doubled their staff in the last quarter.

The Group has recruited a number of highly experienced individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) and debt management staff to handle a case load which is forecast to quadruple by the end of the month. The Debt Advisor is continuing its recruitment drive to meet the increased workload and intends to launch a graduate development plan to enable it to recruit high-level graduates who will be expected to progress and qualify as insolvency professionals.

The company is also spearheading the development of a personal insolvency qualification in conjunction with BPP Plc and the Insolvency Practitioners Association. Bev Budsworth, managing director of the Debt Advisory division, comments: "We are extremely confident about the rapid growth because we have a solid business strategy and an expert management team who are committed to establishing us both as a regional business leader and as one of Lancashire's key employers in this field.

"We're expecting our employment requirements to grow further, possibly doubling again over the next 12 months as we continue to forge ahead. By developing a qualification and investing heavily in graduates we are honouring our commitment to the industry and to our customers. Our aim is to provide a truly holistic approach to the debt problems of individuals and businesses, setting an industry standard going forward."

Recent figures released by Credit Action have revealed that at the end of September 2006 the total UK personal debt was £1,258 billion with a growth rate of 10.3 per cent against the previous year. The UK's personal debt is currently estimated to be increasing by £1 million every four minutes.

Bev Budsworth of The Debt Advisor is a member of the Government's working party, which was established to help those in the personal debt trap, and is passionate about making help widely available to those who need it most.

For further information and recruitment opportunities, visit www.thedebtadvisor.co.uk or www.compassfinance.co.uk


Press contacts:

Alex Henshall
Bell Pottinger North
01625 506444

Notes to editors:
The Debt Advisor is licensed by the Insolvency Practitioners Association to offer skilled and specialist advice on personal debt. Formed in 1999, the Debt Advisor works closely with those in debt to find solutions, which can protect assets from creditors, freeze interest and charges to repay debt in five years or less. At its website - www.thedebtadvisor.co.uk - there is useful information including an online debt calculator to assist with budgeting.

In June 2006, The Debt Advisor was acquired by Compass Finance Group plc. Which saw Bev Budsworth assuming the role of Managing Director of The Debt Advisory division of the business. Based in Bury, Manchester, Compass Finance Group plc is now the first organisation in the UK to offer a complete range of in-house financial solutions through the provision of individual voluntary arrangements (IVA's) and debt management plans for clients requiring debt restructuring solutions, and the brokering and packaging of mortgages, secured loans and unsecured loans.

Bev Budsworth is an insolvency practitioner with more than 20 years' experience in dealing with debt issues.

A regular media commentator, Bev has spoken on a wide-range of issues including divorce, self-certificated mortgages, DIY, mature debt and online gambling. She has been regularly quoted in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, The Observer, Daily and Sunday Express as well as women's magazines including Woman and Red. In the last 12 months she has offered advice on regional television news programmes and BBC local radio phone-ins.

In June 2000 she established The Debt Advisor, one of the first firms to offer comprehensive advice on all debt issues. She had previously spent 17 years with an international firm of chartered accountants where she specialised in personal and business insolvency.

Her experience of dealing with personal debt issues led in 2005 to her being asked to join a government-led working party to look at ways of simplifying the formal procedures of helping people out of debt.

Since then she has led the way in calling for a professional personal debt/insolvency study course to be set up for all people involved in debt advice to individuals.

She works together with a psychologist and they have developed strategies to help motivate clients to change their lifestyle. As a busy married mother of three teenage children she understands the pressures that families face. She believes that with a positive outlook there is always a sensible way to deal with financial difficulties and turn lives around.

Bev recently launched a campaign to bring about a greater understanding of debt and its links to depression giving debtors in the UK access to a two-pronged approach to relieve the misery caused by debt. She is the first in the UK to offer debt advice and personal counselling under one roof. The campaign is geared to help those who are seriously struggling with the wider effects including depression, relationship breakdown, poor work performance and associated health problems.


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