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Money Advice Service announces new partnership with Stepchange Debt Charity PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Money Advice Service and StepChange Debt Charity have today announced a new partnership to help people who may be affected by changes to the debt-management sector.

Following the transfer of consumer credit regulation to the FCA in April 2014, a number of debt management firms have left the market. Existing debt management firms are currently in the process of applying for authorisation from the FCA. During this process the FCA will check that firms meet its standards. While it is not known whether further firms may leave the market, the Money Advice Service has put in place a prudent contingency plan to help any affected clients who may otherwise be left without a debt management provider.
To ensure that those customers affected have access to impartial debt advice, the Money Advice Service is funding StepChange Debt Charity to set up a special service to provide free advice and support over the phone.
Those affected by any potential closures of debt-management firms are advised in the first instance to visit or call the dedicated Money Advice Service debt management helpline on 0300 330 2222.
Caroline Siarkiewicz, Head of the UK Debt Advice Programme for the Money Advice Service comments:
“We welcome the FCA’s increased scrutiny of debt management companies, bringing greater accountability, making sure all providers meet the same standards of advice delivery and protecting consumers.
“It is important that those customers whose debt management company leaves the market are able to access high quality, free debt advice to help them decide the best course of action and get their finances back on track.
“This is the first time we have worked in partnership with StepChange Debt Charity and we are pleased to be providing funding to deliver these vital additional debt advice services over the coming year.”
Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of StepChange Debt Charity, said:
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Money Advice Service. Dealing with debt can be an extremely stressful and difficult time and it is essential that the people affected by firms leaving the market have somewhere to turn where they can get free and independent advice.This funding means that substantial extra advice and support will be available in the coming months.”

(Source - Money Advice Service/StepChange Debt Charity Press Release)

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