Closure of Debt Management Companies
The Government has changed how debt management firms are regulated. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was set up by the Government to make sure that all firms are meeting the required standards. The FCA is now checking all firms to make sure they follow its rules and treat their customers fairly. They are doing this by asking them to apply for authorisation.
Some firms have chosen not to apply. That means they are no longer allowed to offer debt advice or debt management plans.
Whilst it is expected that most firms who are leaving the market will contact their customers about these changes, some may not.
The number of affected customers to date has been relatively low, however we are mindful of the fact that customers so far have only been affected by firms choosing to leave the market rather than as a result of an FCA decision to deny authorisation. If some firms were to be denied authorisation then we would expect the number of affected customers to rise throughout the year.
The Money Advice Service have set up a website to support customers who have been or feel they may be affected by the changes providing access to free, high-quality debt advice through the right channel for them.
For more information on what is happening and what to do next customers can access an FAQ sheet created by the Money Advice Service.
If you live in Scotland you can also contact the National Debtline on 0808 808 0124 or StepChange on 0808 178 2822 for advice.