The money advice sector
As part of our commitment to help non-standard credit market customers, we work with and provide financial support to a wide range of free and voluntary money advice organisations to help those who may have problems repaying their debts to us and others, and to increase the quality and availability of free, independent money advice in the UK.
In 2016, the free and voluntary money advice organisations we supported included:
Advice UK used our funding to support their National Money Advice Co-ordinator (NMAC). The NMAC is responsible for building the capacity of the money advice members of the Advice UK network to meet the needs of their clients. In 2016, the NMAC conducted over 500 consultancy enquiries, as well as communicating regulatory updates, assisting the Money Advice Trust on developing training courses for debt advisers and implementing new initiatives.
Our support allowed CAP's Insolvency Team to provide 325 bursaries to clients who required a Debt Relief Order but were struggling to afford the fee. 63% of CAP’s clients live below the poverty line. As a consequence, many need to take an insolvency route. This was the case for 47% of their clients last year, with seven in ten of these eligible for a Debit Relief Order. We provided nearly half of these bursaries in 2016, giving over 300 families a fresh start and a way of out of debt
In 2016, we provided 50% of funding needed to redesign and update the IMA’s website. The new site was launched in 2017, replacing the previous site which was over ten years old. The user-friendly design and up-to-date information will hopefully reduce website related queries. We also funded one third of the IMA’s conference related audio-visual costs. This ensured that conference fees remained affordable, encouraging almost 300 free sector advisers to benefit from two days of continuing professional development.
We continue to fund MALG to run regional meetings to improve communication, understanding and good practice between advisers and creditors.
In 2016, we continued to support MAS across a range of work, from enabling them to support free sector advisers in achieving certification in Money Advice Practice to facilitating MAS’ social policy output and its journey towards achieving Investors in People Gold status. We also provided support for MAS’ annual 2016 conference which attracted 150 delegates from the credit industry, government and the money advice sector.
Our donations helped support the over 172,000 clients National Debtline clients advised in 2016 via telephone and webchat. Our funding also contributed to support the 1,104,300 visits made to the National Debtline website to access free information and resources. It also helped the Money Advice Trust undertake research to support a campaign entitled ‘Borrowed Years’ which highlighted the financial challenges faced by young people. The research found that 18 to 24 year olds were building up significant debts at a relatively early age and appear reluctant to seek support from free advice providers. The research findings prompted MAT to highlight additional measures that could help under 25s to manage their money and avoid financial difficulty. These included: earlier and more co-ordinated financial education; timely support for first-time borrowers; a larger role for employers in supporting young workers’ money management and practical reforms to student finance payments.
In 2016, we supported ‘Money Workshops’ for students aged between 11 and 19 across the UK. These workshops provide the building blocks to sound money management that students can use, whilst at school or in the future, whether in education, at work or in the home. Our donation of £45,500, provided 228 hours of workshops to 2,500 students. A key focus of these workshops is delivering advice to those students who are ‘vulnerable’. 78% of workshops and hours delivered were to those who were deemed as vulnerable. 96% of all students who took part felt they had obtained new knowledge from the workshops and 95% deemed the information shared and knowledge gained as ‘valuable’ to them.
We also support publicly available, independent research to help understand the financial behaviour of those on modest incomes and increase the quality and availability of free, independent money advice in the UK. For example, we supported Bright Blue’s research “Standing alone – self-employment for those on a low income”. This report looked at the challenges faced by self-employed individuals in low income households and the policies and support they need.
View the other research we have supported here