Following the publication of the Woolard Review: A review of change and innovation in the unsecured credit market, MaPS Chief Executive Caroline Siarkiewicz commented:
“The proposals to bring Buy Now Pay Later under regulatory scrutiny would provide further protection for people to avoid the potentially harmful consequences of this form of borrowing which can result in people spiralling into debt. This has come at a crucial time as many people face increased financial pressures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. I urge anyone who is worried or struggling to keep up with bills or financial commitments to speak to our Money Advice Service for free, confidential support. You can also use the debt advice locator tool on our website. Our research shows three quarters of people who seek help feel more in control after getting debt advice.
“We also welcome many of the proposals in the report that reflect our focus, through the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, on reducing the use of credit for everyday expenses and increasing the provision of free, expert debt advice.
“As the largest single funder of debt advice in England we will continue to work closely with the FCA and Government to help people who are struggling with debt to get the right support for their circumstances. We forecast demand for debt advice to increase over the coming 12 to 18 months as a result of the pandemic.
“Recommendations from our Challenge Groups will be published in Spring 2021.”
About the Money and Pensions Service
The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) is here to ensure every person feels more in control of their finances throughout their lives: from pocket money to pensions. When they are, communities are healthier, businesses are more prosperous, the economy benefits and individuals feel better off. MaPS delivers free and impartial money and pensions guidance to the public through the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.
MaPS is working to make sure the whole of the UK understands that financial, physical and mental health are all deeply connected. MaPS’ role is to connect organisations with the shared purpose of achieving the five goals set out in the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing.
MaPS supports innovation so that everyone can use the most effective methods to help people feel more in control of their money, targeted to those most in need and inclusive of people from all backgrounds. MaPS is an arm’s-length body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).