We aim to make our website as accessible as possible. However if you use a screen reader and require debt advice you may find it easier to phone us instead. Our phone number is 0 8 0 0 1 3 8 1 1 1 1. Freephone (including all mobiles).
StepChange Debt Charity logo
mail on doorstep

Financial Advice Market Review

Download our response

Our response to the Financial Advice Market Review

The type of problems facing families in debt are changing rapidly, and the Government and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) must be aware of this when making decisions about the financial advice market.

The last five years have seen a significant reduction in the number of people with very high consumer credit debts, but rapid growth in the number of families struggling with arrears on essential bills, such as Council Tax, rent or heating. It would be a mistake for the Government to assume that the commercial/regulated financial advice market is for people of certain means, and public financial guidance is for other segments of the population.

Debt advice is predominantly a non-commercial market, and yet it is a regulated activity which helps people get through life events and changes of circumstances (which we know are the main causes of problem debt). The two areas need to be considered closely alongside one another. 

Free debt advice needed more than ever

The UK’s reliance on debt advice provided by the free sector is likely to increase as the commercial market retreats in response to economic and regulatory pressures. Therefore, the Government should not make changes that will reduce the amount of advice provision currently available and should seek to increase funding in the sector and promote more free debt advice.

Government policies to help tackle problem debt

Policy around guidance and advice on debt needs to be considered alongside strategies for prevention and mitigation of debt (for instance, our ideas around a new “breathing space” protection, and consistent regulatory vigilance on collection and enforcement standards).

While face-to-face advice remains vital, free sector reach and cost-effectiveness can be improved. Data from the main non-profit providers shows that telephone advice is four or five times cheaper than face-to-face provision, with online services cheaper still. 

Download our response now for the full picture. 

Download now

Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

We link to external websites where they contain relevant information for our visitors. We're not responsible for the content of these websites, or any infringement on your data rights under data protection regulations by any external website provider.

*This is the average rating of our service based on the StepChange reviews on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2019