New plans to target debt advice at those most in need

New proposals to ensure that debt advice commissioned by the Money Advice Service targets those most in need across the UK have been published for consultation today. These are designed to deliver comprehensive, high-quality services that will both tackle debt and improve people’s wellbeing.

A strategic approach to debt advice commissioning, sets out a new vision and direction for the way debt advice will be commissioned by the Money Advice Service between 2018 and 2023. It puts the one in six people in the UK who regularly miss bill payments or feel overwhelmed by their debts at the heart of these plans.

Sheila Wheeler, Director of Debt Advice at the Money Advice Service said:

“The needs of over-indebted people are at the heart of this draft strategy to deliver better, more inclusive debt advice for those who need it most.

“To deliver the strategy we will need to build stronger and greater collaborative partnerships with those who deliver debt advice across the UK. These partnerships will enable us to innovate and pilot new ways of reaching the people who need these services the most.

“Developing a new approach would not be possible without support from organisations across the sector. This consultation is critical and we want to make sure we hear about the evidence, insights and views of organisations working in a range of finance sectors, especially those at the sharp end of debt advice. Receiving your feedback is critical in informing and shaping the future direction of the strategy.”

The draft strategy sets out a plan for collaboration with stakeholders across a range of sectors to ensure high quality, effective and inclusive services are provided for the people that need them the most.

Under these proposals, the Money Advice Service would work with partner organisations to:

  • Identify and target priority groups within the over-indebted population
  • Deliver debt advice and money guidance services which meet the needs of the population most effectively
  • Develop a clear view of the client from the point they access debt advice to when their issues are resolved
  • Establish a clear career development route for advisers in our services
  • Embed crisis debt advice services within a network of holistic support services (such as mental health)
  • Build services that make the best possible use of existing and emerging technologies

The strategy was developed following a thorough analysis of the current and future need for debt advice services, as well as a review of the quality and impact of existing services. Alongside the draft strategy, the Money Advice Service is publishing a summary of research into current practice across the sector*.

To inform further the draft strategy, the Money Advice Service conducted a series of workshops with stakeholders across the advice sector to gain a broad view of how debt advice services could be commissioned more effectively.

Stakeholders are invited to share their views on A strategic approach to debt advice commissioning by Wednesday 30th August. Consultation questions can be found within Appendix 1 of the document at .Responses can be submitted at


For more information please contact:

Money Advice Service Press Office

020 7947 0593 /


A strategic approach to debt advice commissioning can be found at:

*About Opportunities and challenges in the debt advice sector today report

This report highlights top line key findings from an extensive piece of research into good practice in debt advice conducted in Spring 2017. The research was commissioned by the Money Advice Service and written by Revealing Reality. It comprised of over 200 hours of research time at debt advice providers, conversations with over 120 debt advice staff and advisors and over 100 debt clients across the UK who were interviewed both before and after they received advice. The summary report can be found at A full report will be published later in the year.

About the Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is an independent organisation. It gives free, unbiased money guidance online at or via free phone on 0800 138 7777. It also manages the delivery of Debt advice across the UK, which is provided through a variety of partners. The Service was set up by Government and is paid for by a statutory levy on the financial services industry, raised through the Financial Conduct Authority. Its statutory objectives are to enhance the understanding and knowledge of members of the public about financial matters (including the UK financial system); and to enhance the ability of members of the public to manage their own financial affairs.

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