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Family lending hit by crunch, study finds

Many Britons say that they can no longer loan money to hard-up family members - because their own finances are suffering in the current economic downturn.According to new figures from the Chelsea building society, six in ten people still want to give money to their struggling relatives. However, 30 per cent also now said that they cannot do so any more - and 78 per cent are planning to reduce their expenditure in general as the credit crunch continues to take its toll.Commenting, Darren Stevens at the Chelsea said: "Whereas previously Britons could rely on their family members to bail them out when they got into difficulty, now when they turn to their families as a last resort they might find that their families are also suffering the pinch. A lack of extra funds means that families have to help each other out in non-financial ways."He added: "Britons should start taking control of their own finances through proper financial planning and saving, bypassing a potentially embarrassing situation within their own families."When asked what non-financial assistance they would give to immediate family members who were facing tough times, 54 per cent of poll respondents said that they would offer them a room in their own homes free of charge.Meanwhile, 51 per cent said that would help look after their children.

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