Increased debt advice funding will be welcome news for many hard-pressed households

“The announcement of an extra £14.2m of debt advice funding via the FCA levy, together with an additional £20.6m of central government funding and £3m from MaPS, is excellent news for people struggling with serious problem debt over the coming months”, said Deborah Ware, Chief Operating Officer of Financial Wellness Group.

“Debt advice is in the calm before the storm: furlough and the availability of payments holidays on everything from mortgages, loans and credit cards to council tax, car finance and utilities bills are protecting consumers from the worst of the financial impact of lockdown.

“However, as those schemes drop away, advice providers are braced for a significant increase in demand, fuelled by rising unemployment. This funding should help the sector boost capacity to help ensure that advice is available to those that need it, when they want it over the months to come.

“We look forward to continued engagement with the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) to understand how we can support the consumer and the sector by playing our part in boosting advice capacity.

“We are pleased that our strategic outlook is aligned to the approach set out by MaPS of delivering debt advice differently, using data to identify those in need and offering support to customers in finding the advice that is available more efficiently and before their financial difficulties become a debt crisis.”