The second round of What Works funding – the new fund – has tested and evaluated financial capability interventions that have focused more specifically on the 1 in 4 members of the UK population who are financially ‘squeezed’. This group could fall into financial difficulty with one unexpected bill. This approach targets some of the gaps in evidence that were not examined by the What Works Fund.
The new fund has explored the following strands in 2018:
As the statutory body for financial capability and major funder of debt advice in the UK, The Money Advice Service (MAS) has committed to exploring the synergy between financial capability and debt advice, incorporating this into our debt commissioning strategy 2018 – 2023.
We will draw heavily from the financial capability framework, which sits at the heart of The Financial Capability Strategy for the UK, and the debt advice outcomes framework. It has drawn on extensive research and analysis to identify the behaviours that support financial wellbeing and the mindset and abilities that underpin those behaviours.
The project has been designed with the assistance of the wider debt advice and financial capability community who submitted into an earlier call for evidence. We are grateful for the contributions we received, which have helped identify overlaps and gaps in the provision of integrated advice.
MAS is delighted to fund a project to understand how to support clients in improving their financial capability alongside debt advice. This research will provide insight as to what is needed to make sure that advisers feel equipped with the right resources, training and techniques to empower clients to improve their financial capability.
As a client receives debt advice there is often a conversation about how to manage money better on a day-to-day basis when carrying out the budgeting step. From setting money aside for annual expenditures like MOTs or Christmas, to ensuring clients don’t skip meals to make debt payments, these conversations are asking clients to make significant behavioural changes which may have a strong impact on debt advice outcomes.
However, occasionally opportunities to help clients avoid future problems can be missed, as recognised in The Better Debt Advice report.
We are now giving debt advice providers the opportunity to be at the forefront of improving debt advice in delivering effective financial capability outcomes. They will benefit from:
Organisations selected will need to commit to:
The key questions in the application are:
Organisations interested in the fund will need to submit an application by 5pm 22 November 2018.
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