More and More Money Advice Service Customers Are Taking Action…
More and more people are taking action after receiving support from the Money Advice Service. New figures reveal that in the year from April 2013 to March 2014 its customers took 653,000 positive steps to manage their debt better, save regularly, prepare for retirement, protect their assets or provide for their dependants.
Meeting the demand for advice
The Service has also released its performance figures for April – June 2014, which show it is well on track to meet its targets for 2014/15. There were almost five million customer contacts (4,979,000) during the period, twice as many as in quarter one of 2013/14, when there were 2.5m customer contacts. Customer satisfaction remains high, with 89% saying they would recommend the service to others and 91% saying they would revisit the Service.
Providing guidance on everyday issues people face
The Service continues to provide advice on new subjects for customers. Over the quarter, it launched a range of new interactive tools and tips on its site, including:
• a debt locator tool, which enables people to locate the best and nearest way that they can access free
• a mortgage affordability calculator which helps people to work out how much they can afford to borrow,
taking into account all of their income and outgoings;
• a payday loan tool which helps people consider alternatives to taking out a payday loan; and
• a set of resources called “You, Your Kids and Money” designed to help parents teach their children about
To coincide with the FCA’s new rules on mortgages, introduced in April, the Service launched a consumer campaign to warn people against rushing into a hasty house purchase without considering all the costs of buying and running a home.
Helping more people by working in partnership
The Service continues to develop a range of partnerships with organisations in the private, voluntary and public sectors, to help people to access its advice as they go about their daily lives. It has begun a new partnership with Standard Life and produced a topical blog to help their customers understand the changes to pensions announced in the Budget.
Working with Zoopla, the Service has developed guidance for homebuyers on the impact of potential interest rate rises; Holmesdale Building Society has developed a special Money Advice Service section of their website; and the Service launched a tool with NHS Choices to help people assess whether money worries are affecting their well-being.
Funding more debt advice
The Service continues to increase the number of people it is helping to get out of debt. Over the quarter, the Service’s partners helped over 50,000 people with free, face-to-face debt advice across the UK. Almost 45,000 actions were taken by people as a result of the debt advice they had received.
Commenting on the results Caroline Rookes, CEO of the Money Advice Service said:
“These figures show we’re helping more people than ever take action to manage their money better. Whether it’s planning for a new home or buying a car; dealing with a major life event like starting a family or coping with redundancy; we’re giving people the help they need to budget, save and protect what they own. We’re well on track to build on last year’s excellent results and making a really positive impact on people’s lives.”
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