Press release: More people than ever getting help with money matters from the Money Advice Service

Friday 13 November 2015

More people than ever getting help with money matters from the Money Advice Service

  • Over 8.4 million unique contacts to Money Advice Service website between April and September – 88% would recommend the service to others
  • More people seeking help with their debts, over 95,000 sessions take place this quarter - an increase of 90% on Q2 2014/15

The Money Advice Service continued to evolve its approach this quarter, placing greater emphasis on working with partners to help more consumers than ever get the financial support they need to make informed decisions about their money.

Figures for Quarter 2 (July – September 2015) show that the Money Advice Service achieved over 5.9 million customer visits to the website, phone and face to face services, a total of over 11.4 million for the first half of the year. In the same period, 3.4 million actions were taken to improve budgeting and 481,530 actions were taken to save regularly.

The homes and mortgages tools remained the most popular with over 420,900 completions in total including; over 197,000 completions of the Stamp duty calculator, over 142,000 completions for the Mortgage Affordability Calculator and nearly 82,000 for the Mortgage calculator.

More people than ever sought help with their financial difficulties this quarter, continuing the upward trend. We worked closely with partners across the country; whose hard work and dedication resulted in over 95,000 people receiving debt advice across England, Wales, and Scotland. Nine out of 10 people* who received debt advice went on to take an action to improve their finances.

Focusing on Financial Education
We launched two financial education projects this quarter, designed to identify what really works in improving financial capability. These will enable the Service to innovate to reach more people with messages about good financial behaviours while investing in the wider sector to increase the capacity of partners and the charitable sector to deliver projects which will help to make a real difference to people’s lives.

  • Collaboration with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) –We co-funded a project to evaluate the effectiveness of school-based financial education programmes. The aim is to increase the financial capability of school pupils and raise their educational attainment.
  • Collaboration with Big Lottery Wales - We commenced work with the Big Lottery Fund in Wales on a new pilot project called Talk, Learn, Do: Parents, Kids and Money. This scheme aims to improve parent’s confidence to teach their children money management skills. The three year project, which will be delivered across almost half of all local authorities in Wales, aims to motivate parents and equip them with the confidence and ability to develop the next generation of money savvy adults.

Debt funding for Northern Ireland
We continued to work with partners to ensure that consumers in Northern Ireland have access to high quality, free debt advice across all 11 council areas. This will enable them to get their debts under control and improve their quality of life. Applications for a three-year debt advice funding programme in Northern Ireland opened in September with up to £1 million_*_available to potential partners in the first year.

Encouraging people to plan for the future
The Service and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) launched a joint piece of consumer research identifying the barriers and triggers to getting protection, whether that takes the form of a savings buffer or a protection product. The findings were used to raise awareness of the need to either save or consider relevant protection insurances.

Commenting on these results, Caroline Rookes, CEO of the Money Advice Service said: “I am pleased to see that the website continues to extend its reach, with more consumers getting access to the information they need to make good decisions about their money. I’m also delighted that more people than ever are seeking debt advice.

“We are continuing to look for new ways to fill gaps in information for consumers and to co-ordinate with partners to reach people more effectively. Our work with the Education Endowment Fund, Big Lottery Wales, Association of British Insurers and our debt partners are a great example of this. We’ll continue to take this approach–aiming to create a real cultural change in the way people think about money.”

ENDS

For more information please contact: Money Advice Service Press Office
020 7947 0068 / pressoffice@moneyadviceservice.org.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS

Results

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS Results Q2 (Jul- Sep 2015) Year to date (April – Sept) Annual target 2015/16 Year-on-Year difference
Unique contacts to the website (UK only) 4,316,000 8,439,000 N/A + 12%
Volume of customer contacts* 5,904,000 11,491,000 21.5m + 10%
Online contacts (excluding Web Chats) 5,851,000 11,382,00   + 10%
Face-to-face contacts 21,000 43,000   -14%
Telephone contacts 21,000 46,000   +1%
Web chats 10,000 20,000   +14%
Number of times we have given customers the help they required 3,917,000 7,669,000 12m +43%

*a visit to the website, web chat, phone or face-to-face session

All figures rounded to the nearest 1,000. Figures may not sum due to rounding

SATISFACTION CRITERIA Results Q2 (Jul- Sep 2015) Year to date 15/16 Year-on-Year difference
% of people stating Service provided them with help required 86% 87% +1%
% of people stating they will revisit the Service 91% 90% +1%
% of people who would recommend the Service 89% 89% +2%
NUMBER OF ACTIONS TAKEN AS A RESULT OF THE SERVICE Q1 (April – June 2015) Annual Targets 2015/16
Total actions taken 4,930,000 11.5m
Budgeting to live within means 3,422,000  
Managing Debt well 672,000  
Saving Regularly 482,000  
Being prepared for later life and retirement 233,000  
Protected against the unknown 120,000  

*These percentages are not statistically significant

DEBT ADVICE Results Q2 (July – Sept 2015) Annual Targets 2015/16 Year-on-Year difference
Debt sessions funded through partners 95,300 370,000 +91%
England & Wales 88,100    
Northern Ireland (Figures supplied for July and August) 500    
Scotland (Scottish figures for Q1 cover June 15 – Aug 15) 6,400    

All figures rounded to the nearest 100. Figures may not sum due to rounding.

1) The figures referred to represent results from the second quarter (Q2 of the Money Advice Service year, which runs from 1 July 2015 to 30th September 2015. Q2 for the Money Advice Service is Q3 of the calendar year.

2) The methodology for the number of actions taken as a result of the Service is as follows: between June and August the Service surveyed 1,522 people – a mix of web, phone and face-to-face customers who had had interactions with the Service between April 2015 and June 2015. Customers were asked which actions they had taken as a direct result of their interaction with the Money Advice Service, and to understand the barriers and enablers they had faced, in doing this. They were given a list of 20 different actions, and asked which ones they had taken. These actions could be either something the respondent had started to do, such as taking out new insurance or taking steps to reduce their debt, or things that they had started to do more or less of, such as going into arrears less on bills or sticking to a budget more often.

3) Customer satisfaction scores are measured through monthly exit polls - surveys are conducted by telephone and online by independent market research agencies and measure customer satisfaction across all three Service delivery channels - online, phone, face-to-face. During the three months of quarter two, we interviewed 17,000 customers across all channels.

4) Data about usage of articles and calculators has been taken from internal analytics and site data.

*Debt Advice is provided through partnerships with the following organisations:

England and Wales

· Citizens Advice

· East Midlands Money Advice

· Capitalise

· Money Advice West

· Greater Merseyside Money Advice

Scotland

· Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB)

Northern Ireland

Department of Enterprise and Trade NI

** 95,300 people received a debt advice service from one of Money Advice Service’s partners. 85,500 people who received a debt advice went on to take an action to improve their financial situation.

_*_Applications have opened for two funding streams in Northern Ireland as follows:

· Stream 1 – Community Wide Debt Advice (£800k)

Stream 2 – Thematic Debt Advice (£200k)

About the Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is an independent organisation. Set up by government to help people make the most of their money, it gives free, unbiased money advice across the UK – online, over the phone and face to face. 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 & knowledge of members of the public about financial matters (including the UK financial system), and to enhance the ability of the public to manage their own financial affairs.

For more information please contact the Money Advice Service Press Office on 020 7943 0593 pressoffice@moneyadviceservice.org.uk

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