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Consumers advised to approach banks

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The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has recommended talking to your bank sooner rather than later about any financial concerns brewing in 2008.

Chief executive of the BBA Angela Knight said financial indicators over the past few months have signalled a difficult year in 2008. “The housing market has cooled, with the BBA’s own figures showing mortgage approvals at a historically low level,” she explained.

“High Street sales started before Christmas – even if the picture has been a bit better in the last few days with people snapping up bargains. Council tax and heating bills have gone up and the consequences of the American housing problem – known as the “credit crunch” – still coming though.”

Knight also advised consumers to keep an eye on spending this year, as well as bills. She also said as banks compete for your savings deposits, UK consumers should take advantage of the competitive savings offers available at the moment.

“And, if the worst happens and you get into difficulty, talk to your lender before signing up for ‘get-of-out-debt-free’ scheme you might see advertised as there is no such thing,” she added.

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