Female IVA need to rise?

The question of whether women may be more likely to need individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) may have been given greater emphasis by a new poll s…

The question of whether women may be more likely to need individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) may have been given greater emphasis by a new poll showing females are less optimistic than men about their financial plans.

Insolvency Service figures out last month showed the year to August 31st 2010 saw insolvencies rise three times as fast among women than men and now a poll on financial planning has revealed there is a gender gap when it comes to money and the future.

The Institute of Financial Planning survey found 52 per cent of adults were “not that confident” or “not at all confident” about their ability to meet their financial plans in the future, amid rising prices and the possibility of base rate increases in the coming months.

However, when this is split down gender lines, 57 per cent of women take a pessimistic view, compared to only 46 per cent of men.

Such a difference may suggest it is increasingly women who are feeling the financial pinch and could therefore be at greater risk of needing help when their finances get into trouble.

An IVA can help those with debts of around £15,000 or more by negotiating a smaller amount to be paid back to creditors over a five-year period, which is binding on all of them provided 75 per cent of those owed money agree to the deal.

Commenting last month in the wake of the publication of the Insolvency Service data, national head of bankruptcy at risk management firm RSM Tenon Mark Sands suggested the main reason is greater female independence.

Because women are “more independent now than they might have been a generation ago” they take on more debt, he reasoned.

By James Francis

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