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Lack of focus on financial education for young people "short sighted"

CashThe Trading Standards Institute (TSI) welcomes Government plans to widen the Money Advice Service’s remit to include debt advice coordination and provision, but is concerned about the lack of focus on educating young people.

As part of the TSI response to HM Treasury’s proposals to clarify and extend the Money Advice Service (MAS) TSI’s chief executive Ron Gainsford said: “A coordination role that would help ensure consumers are aware of the sources of advice available to them, and a further provision of advice and information is to be welcomed.
“It is essential, however, that the Money Advice Service supports and does not inadvertently inhibit or undermine the capability and effectiveness of those existing sources of debt advice and education available to citizens and consumers, such as Citizens Advice Bureaux, National Debtline and the Consumer Credit Counselling Service.

TSI believes MAS would be well placed to take on an educational role to prevent young people getting into debt.
Mr Gainsford said: “Young people are the purchasers and possible borrowers and debtors or today and tomorrow.  Preventing consumers getting into debt is as important, if not more so, that giving advice to those already in financial difficulties.
“We at the Trading Standards Institute find it short-sighted and surprising that MAS is constraining its scope to not include young people and indeed has advised that they will no longer be sponsoring a money and debt advice section for the national Young Consumers of the Year Competition.
“The the view that ‘the job is done’ with young people and money advice is far from accurate.”

The full TSI consultation response is available on the TSI website at http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/policy/policy-conslist.cfm