A major Independent Review of the Funding of Debt Advice, led by Peter Wyman, was published on 25 January 2018. In the three months following, almost 30 organisations have formally responded to the Review.
The Debt Advice Steering Group (DASG) has now considered those responses in detail and agreed to back the direction of travel set out by the Wyman Review. It has agreed to prioritise:
- increasing capacity in the sector by 50%;
- broadening the base of organisations who contribute to funding;
- measures which ensure high quality advice;
- increasing investment of the debt advice levy in coordination, infrastructure and technology;
- increasing collaboration in the sector.
The Money Advice Service will lead coordination of the Review, alongside devolved administrations and the DASG. Detailed action plans for delivering on the prioritised areas will be produced in coming months. These will need to have the over-indebted population at the heart and take into account the varied cultural and legislative arrangements across the four nations of the UK.
The DASG made this statement: “In January, Peter Wyman published his review of debt advice funding in the UK. We support the vision he sets out for the sector; ensuring people get high quality debt advice when they need it is absolutely vital and finding innovative and effective ways of reaching, advising and serving consumers is at the heart of what we do.
The review makes clear that demand for debt advice exceeds supply, leading to the recommendation that provision should be increased by 50%. We will need to look at things differently to achieve this, including how best to engage with people who most need to access debt advice, exploring the opportunities presented by technological innovation, co-ordinated infrastructure and efficient use of channels, all whilst maintaining a focus on quality.
No single organisation can deliver this change on its own. It will take all of us and the other organisations included in the Wyman Review working together to make sure that we can respond to the challenges set out. This important work starts now and will be led by MAS alongside the devolved administrations and the DASG.”
Responding to the review, John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury said: “When overwhelmed by problem debt, the right advice can be crucial to helping people get their lives back on track. Peter Wyman’s review has the right approach. We need to do everything we can to ensure the quality, availability and efficiency of debt advice for people all over the country. I look forward to working with the Money Advice Service and the wider sector to do this.”
Andy Briscoe, Chair of the Debt Advice Steering Group comments on the Peter Wyman Review of Debt Advice Funding: “Peter Wyman’s review shines a light on the developments that need to be made to improve the supply of high quality debt advice in the UK. I am pleased that the DASG has agreed to support delivery of Peter’s Review, and is committed to working together to implement it and to ensure lasting improvements in the sector.”
Charles Counsell, Chief Executive at the Money Advice Service responds to the Peter Wyman Review of Debt Advice Funding: “Ensuring that over-indebted people receive high quality debt advice when they need it is a key priority for us at MAS. We believe that Peter Wyman’s review sets out a path to delivering transformational change in the years to come. We know there is a significant shortfall between demand and supply of debt advice. Improving access to advice can only be achieved by the sector working collaboratively together.”