Bond Pearce launches student loan scheme

Amid growing concern over student debt, Bristol-based firm Bond Pearce has struck an unusual deal with one of its banking clients to launch a trainee loan scheme.

The scheme with Bank of Scotland (BoS) is aimed at attracting graduates, enabling the firm’s trainees and junior solicitors to cope with student debts and helping Bond Pearce retain newly-qualified solicitors.

The loan is just 1 per cent above BoS’s base rate and is believed to be the first scheme of its kind, although a number of other firms do offer lump sums or subsidised loans.

The firm’s HR director Paul Strutt said that 20 of the 53 trainees and newly-qualifieds eligible had expressed an interest immediately after the launch.

However, a spokesman at another Bristol firm is more sceptical. “We have faith in our trainees’ ability to manage their financial affairs,” he said. “There have been many products available to them and it’s their decision as to which ones they choose.”