Military personnel who face losing their jobs under the Government’s defence cuts are being offered a lifeline by the financial services industry.

The army alone is set to shed 20,000 jobs by 2020, including hundreds from the West Midlands when battalions from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and Mercian Regiments are axed.

However, Malcolm Streatfield, chief executive of the finance outfit Lighthouse Group, believes many would be suitable candidates for posts in the financial advice sector.

He said, “We have lost 10,000 people from the advice sector in the past 18 months, partially due to regulatory change within the sector, and that knowledge gap needs to be filled.

“The key characteristics and core competencies of a good professional financial advisor are intrinsically linked to the qualities that form the base foundations of a good competent member of the armed forces.

“In both careers it is essential to be disciplined, determined and have great attention to detail, so the potential is there for ex servicemen and women to be retrained and for them to enjoy a long and successful career as a professional financial adviser.”

“I’d implore those who are currently considering their career options, to think seriously about a career as a professional financial adviser. ”

Five infantry battalions are due to go under the Army 2020 strategy, which will see the regular Army cut from 102,000 to 82,000.

The Fusiliers regiment has a rich Midland history, being formed in 1968 from an amalgamation for four units, including the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers. The 3rd Battalion of the Mercian Regiment, formerly the Staffordshire Regiment, also faces the axe.