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Citizens’ Advice hunts for volunteer advisers

Citizens’ Advice hunts for volunteer advisers

Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) and the Personal Financial Society are appealing for advisers to give generic financial advice pro-bono as part of the MoneyPlan project.

The Personal Finance Society is looking for more advisers to support the initiative, started in 2005 and rolled out nationally by 2013, aimed to provide CAB users with informative and free financial advice.

MoneyPlan relies on volunteers who want to give something back to their community.

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Simon Armstrong, an independent financial adviser at Lonsdale Services, gives up to one day a month to go into the Citizens Advice Bureau in Luton to provide pro-bono generic financial advice.

Mr Armstrong said: “The Personal Finance Society, of which I am a member, was looking for financial advisers to volunteer for the MoneyPlan project so I put my name forward.

“The project interested me as it provides access to specialised generic financial advice to those that otherwise would not be able to afford it.

“I have found the work very interesting and I am now more knowledgeable about the benefit system and how it works.

“Many people I see have very general enquiries about their pensions, and it is satisfying to be able to explain the different options that are available to them.”

Advisers work with Citizen Advice Bureau staff to offer clients the double benefit of CAB workers knowledge of state benefits, death and tax credits with the specific skills and of professional financial advisers.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “The right guidance and advice can be key to a secure financial future.

“Moneyplan has been matching people who have had money or debt help from local Citizens Advice with financial advisers in their area for free, introductory advice on savings, mortgages and insurance.

“We really value financial advisers’ unique expertise that they are able to offer our clients and, with the majority of volunteers still involved in the project since its launch, we know they find it a really positive experience too.”