Debt Advice Foundation Challenges New Coalition On Consumer Debt Strategy

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As the nation prepares for its first coalition Government for 70 years and with official figures released this week showing personal insolvency at record levels, Debt Advice Foundation, a national debt advice charity is asking how the new UK Government will tackle the country’s growing consumer debt crisis.

David Rodger, Managing Director of Debt Advice Foundation

We believe there is a sustainable way for the not-for-profit sector to deliver debt advice, based on a self-funding model.

As the nation prepares for its first coalition Government for 70 years and with official figures released this week showing personal insolvency at record levels (1), Debt Advice Foundation, a national debt advice charity is asking how the new UK Government will tackle the country’s growing consumer debt crisis.

Amongst the Conservative's pre-election manifesto promises was a commitment to establish a national financial advice service. However, with previous attempts to create a Government-led strategy having been branded a failure, with an official report published last month highlighting a lack of management by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the charity is asking for the Government to take a fresh approach to tackling consumer debt advice (2).

David Rodger, Managing Director of Debt Advice Foundation, comments: “Today we’ve seen personal insolvencies reach a record high, and with consumer debt standing at £1500 billion it is essential for the new Government to look at fresh ways to tackle the problem.

“Hundreds of millions of pounds have been invested in the Government’s consumer debt strategy, yet many people are still facing long waiting lists in order to access free and impartial debt advice.

“We believe there is a sustainable way for the not-for-profit sector to deliver free debt advice, based on a self-funding model. By utilising the creditor funding methods that commercial debt advice companies use, the third sector can provide free advice and solutions, without relying on public funding or compromising the appropriateness or quality of the advice. The solutions that generate revenues can be used to offset the cost of managing the unprofitable solutions.”

Debt Advice Foundation is committed to helping bring about legislative change to benefit UK consumers, and is campaigning for an Ethical Debt Advice Framework to be enforced across the industry to achieve a greater level of consistency, consumer confidence and advisor resource cost savings.

David adds: “This is a new era for politics, which we hope will bring a fresh common sense approach to dealing with consumer debt advice in the UK.”

For further information visit: http://www.debtadvicefoundation.org

Photo Caption: David Rodger, Managing Director of Debt Advice Foundation

Further information:
Suzanne Judge 07936 410933 / 0161 838 5623 or email suzanne(at)dafl(dot)co(dot)uk
Kate Jones – call 07966 829143 / 0161 838 5623 or email kate(at)dafl(dot)co(dot)uk

Editors Notes

1 There were 35,682 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in the first quarter of 2010. This was an increase of 17.9% on the same period a year ago.
Source: The Insolvency Service, 7 May 2010. 'http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/otherinformation/statistics/201005/index.htm'
2 House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Helping over-indebted consumers report, 8 April 2010. 'http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmpubacc/475/475.pdf'
About Debt Advice Foundation

Debt Advice Foundation’s telephone helpline service is available six days a week on 0800 043 40 50, lines are open from 8am-8pm Mon-Fri and 9am – 5pm on Saturdays.

Debt Advice Foundation is a registered charity, with the following objectives:

  • Provide free, impartial and appropriate advice to people with unaffordable debt.
  • Help people with debt problems to gain free access to solutions that will help them.
  • Promote the education of young people in money management so as to reduce the likelihood they will mis-use debt later in their lives.
  • Undertake or fund research to understand why problem debt happens and its effect on individuals, families and the wider UK economy.
  • To use this evidence to become a force for beneficial change within the credit and debt solutions industry and to work with government to bring about legislative change to benefit UK consumers.

Debt Advice Foundation features on the FSA (Financial Services Authority) consumer website – Money Made Clear and Direct Gov as a source of free and impartial debt advice.

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