HC Deb 31 January 2003 vol 398 cc1059-60W
Paul Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures she plans to take to improve the availability of independent, free financial advice to consumers. [91835]

Miss Melanie Johnson

There are currently a number of providers of independent, free financial advice to consumers including that provided by the Citizens Advice, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS), and the Federation of Information and Advice Centres (FIAC). In addition there is a large amount of information available on the internet, including through the Financial Services Authority's website.

There are also a number of organisations such as National Debtline, Consumer Credit Counselling Services and Payplan which, while primarily focused on providing independent, free debt advice, will offer consumers contacting them general financial advice where relevant.

We are reviewing Government policy on debt advice in response to recommendations in the PIU report "Lending Support: Improving Government's Use of Loans" published March 2002.