The service offers impartial guidance on personal finance including advice on coping with changing circumstances and wise borrowing. It also directs consumers to specialist advice firms if necessary.
The facility is aiming to reach up to 750,000 consumers in northern England by spring 2010, ahead of a potential nationwide rollout. The development emerged from recommendations included in the Thoresen Review last March.
Ian Pearson, economic secretary to the Treasury, says: “Those facing money concerns need to know that good, practical help is at hand. This launch marks a milestone on the journey to achieving the government’s objective of a national money guidance service.”
Chris Pond, director of financial capability at the FSA, says: “Improving the public’s ability to make financial decisions is in everybody’s interests. If consumers know what they want and how to get it the financial services market will become less one-sided and more efficient.”