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Advisers snub pro bono plan

A free financial advice pilot scheme by the Citizens’ Advice Bureau is stalling because IFAs are reluctant to sign up.

The Citizens’ Advice Net Gains scheme aims to get IFAs to provide pro bono advice to people with debt problems.

But seven advisers are thought to have signed up for the pilot scheme being jointly run by CAB and the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Personal Finance Society. It had been hoped that 18 would sign up to the scheme, which is being funded by £40,000 from the CII.

The pilot projects started at the beginning of January after a hold-up when the CAB needed to find professional indemnity insurance.

Citizens’ Advice press officer Dan Levene admitted that there was only one person who knew about the project because it was being run by an independent private consultant.

PFS head of public affairs John Ellis says: “It is difficult to get IFAs to give up their time for free. You have to convince them that some business may come from it. If that does not prove to be the case then it will be very difficult to justify the scheme.”

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