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Birkett setting up a debt management company

Lee Birkett, who was chief executive of mortgage network Prestbury Financial, which is now in liquidation, has set up a debt management firm.

Prestbury Financial was subject to winding-up petitions in December and was placed into liquidation but a deal was struck allowing the transfer of appointed representatives to Personal Touch Financial Services. Prestbury Financial’s parent company Prestbury Holdings, has now been suspended from Aim.

Birkett is now a director of William James Wealth Management, which was incorporated in June last year. It has been gran- ted a consumer credit licence by the OFT under the trading name Independent Debtline. Birkett says he is backing Matthew Follett, former head of Prestbury’s packaging arm, in the venture, which has yet to officially launch.

On its website, Independent Debtline says: “Before joining Independent Debtline, a number of our debt counsellors spent many years advising the general public on mortgages and loans.

“These same advisers now find themselves helping clients manage their debts many of whom are facing negative equity and the fear of losing their home.”

Birkett says: “We act as a negotiator with creditors to set up a repayment plan that the client can afford.” The firm takes an initial fee and 17.5 per cent of mon- thly payments.

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