Debt Advisers asked about Vulnerability

The largest survey of UK debt advisers has been launched to gain an insight into how they support clients that are in vulnerable situations.

The new research, which is asking for advice agencies to sign up and participate in the project, is being carried out by the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre (PRFC), who are working in partnership with the Money Advice Trust and the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. The research is being funded by a grant from the Money Advice Service.
Working with the advice sector and other experts, findings from the survey will inform the development of new guidance and practical tools to help frontline debt advisers to further support their clients.

Sharon Collard, director of the Personal Finance Research Centre at the University of Bristol said:

“Every day, across the advice sector, advisers work with clients to deal with their debt problems and try to get their finances back on an even keel.

“There is currently no published information about the extent to which those clients are in particularly vulnerable situations or what that means for advisers and their organisations. With the help of the advice sector, this survey aims to fill that gap.

“We know that advisers work under a lot of pressure, so we’ve designed the survey to take about 15 minutes to complete.”

Simon Crine, director of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, said:

“Debt advisers do a crucial job, helping tens of thousands of people every year. But it’s not easy – particularly as many clients will be dealing with multiple complex problems like mental health issues, bereavement or housing difficulties as well as their debts.

“We want to know more about what it’s like for advisers on the frontline, what would make their jobs easier, and how we can help to improve outcomes for their clients.”

Advice agencies who wish to register in the research can do so here.