Important information on debt advice and Debt Management companies

Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker, who has campaigned on problem debt and for free financial advice services has welcomed advice from the FCA of how constituents with debt management issues can access their services. Having campaigned for more funding for free debt advice and better regulation of high cost debt he has welcomed action by the regulator and advice on how customers may be affected.

This reads:

“If you use a debt management company to help manage or repay outstanding debt, you may be affected by changes to the debt management sector.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates debt management firms in the UK, is assessing whether firms that offer debt management plans should be authorised to continue to engage in regulated debt management activities.

The FCA is scrutinising firms carefully, as part of its authorisation process, to ensure that only those that meet the required standards are authorised.

Where a firm is refused authorisation and decides to exit the market or to stop providing debt management services to its customers, some members of the public could lose access to their debt management plan at short notice, leaving payments outstanding to creditors.

But do not worry; if a debt management company that you are using is no longer able to manage your debt management plan, you will be contacted by letter with information from the Money Advice Service on the help available to you, and to make sure you can access free, confidential debt advice about what to do next.

The MP, who was named Citizens Advice Parliamentarian of the Year in 2014 and who recently spoke at the AGM of the CAB in Worcester just before Christmas, also pointed out that face to face advice services and a hotline are available locally through the Citizens Advice Bureau in Worcester.

Commenting Robin said:

“Timely debt advice is so important. I have been glad to support the CAB in Worcester and nationally in the important help that they provide. It is good to see the regulator taking action to protect people against unscrupulous debt management companies but I appreciate it could lead to some confusion for constituents, this is why I welcome the clear information being published to direct people to the services that can help.”

 

Notes to editors:

For opening times and full details on the services supported by Worcester CAB see:

http://www.cabwhabac.org.uk/

For details of Robin’s previous campaigns for the CAB and on debt issues see:

http://www.walker4worcester.com/walker-celebrates-40-years-of-citizens-advice-with-local-volunteers/

http://www.walker4worcester.com/walker-welcomes-new-credit-union-shop-to-worcester-as-6-towns-expands/

http://www.walker4worcester.com/walker-celebrates-work-of-citizens-advice-in-worcester/

If you would like to find out more about Money Advice nationally, please visit the Money Advice Service website:

www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/debt-management

Or call the Money Advice Service’s dedicated, confidential debt management helpline on: 0300 330 2222