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Get professional financial advice, Halifax urges

Britons would much rather talk over their financial problems with family and friends than with a professional, according to Halifax.The financial firm's new survey shows that 53 per cent seek out their nearest and dearest for this kind of advice.By contrast, just 16 per cent have visited a professional adviser in the past year - despite the severe volatility on the markets and the threat of a deep recession to come.The government predicts that the economy will shrink by around one per cent next year.However, respected business group the Centre for Economics and Business Research predicts a near-unprecedented 2.9 per cent drop - the worst since 1946.Commenting on the Halifax survey, the managing director of the firm's Financial Services business, Karen Crowshaw, said: "Most of us religiously hit the high street for the pre-Christmas rush and the New Year January sales, but too few of us include banking products in our bargain hunting. "By making a few small changes today and seeking the appropriate advice, you could make some significant financial gains in the future. In light of the recent financial climate, it has never been more important to seek out the best product deals available."

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