Money and Pensions Service is an arm's-length body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and it has a joint commitment to provide access to the information and guidance people across the UK need, to make effective financial decisions over their lifetime. Background It is critical people have access to debt advice when they need it and the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing sets out a goal of 2 million more people receiving debt advice by 2030. The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the economy and people's personal finances and we expect demand for debt advice services to increase. To help combat this, in June MaPS secured an extra £38 million to help providers deliver advice to more people in England who may be experiencing financial problems due to coronavirus. The £38m has been broken into a number of funding streams; to support organisations to maintain their current capacity, and to increase capacity and help more people get the advice they need. Work has already been underway to allocate funding. Increasing Debt Advice Capacity Discussions with existing suppliers and pre-market engagement with debt advice providers not currently funded by MaPS has taken place to develop ideas on increasing the capacity of high-quality, free-to-customer debt advice by recruiting and training additional debt advisers. Further details related to this funding will be available through the MaPS website (see Links below) Maintaining Debt Advice Capacity We are pleased to announce the next phase of activity, funding to support debt advice providers who have seen a drop in income as a result of Covid-19 which is putting their vital work in helping overindebted clients at risk. Following a webinar on 17 July (a recording will be available on this page) we will be inviting organisations that meet the eligibility criteria - including those not currently funded by MaPS-to participate in an early market engagement survey and supply information about reduced income linked to Covid-19 and the impact this is having on maintaining pre-pandemic capacity to provide debt advice. The engagement is vital to give us a wider picture of sector capacity and to understand where high quality, free-to-customer debt is at risk. We will use this insight to inform any future formal application process. Which organisations might be eligible for funding: 1. Hold the relevant FCA authorisations to provide debt advice and be an existing debt advice service. 2. Provide free to customer debt advice 3. Hold a MaPS accredited quality standard or hold the relevant FCA authorisations for handling client money. 4. Provide debt advice in England What is out of scope: 1. Support for equipment to enable home or remote working 2. Lost income that has been mitigated through other support (eg furlough, other grants or support for third sector) would not be eligible 3. Lost income or funding not directly related to coronavirus
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Published: 9 Jul 2020, Receipt by: 28 Jul 2020
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