Scotland’s Money Charity holds annual conference amidst concerns over escalation in personal debt

23 June 2017

On 22nd and 23rd June, Money Advice Scotland was delighted to return to Crieff Hydro in Perthshire to host Scotland’s leading conference on credit, debt and personal finance issues.

Total outstanding consumer credit hit £198.4bn in the past month – the highest level since December 2008 – fuelling concerns that household budgets could soon be stretched to breaking point.

Entitled Financial Fitness: how fit are the nation’s personal finances, conference attracted a vast spectrum of delegates including representatives from across the third sector in Scotland as well as the Scottish Government, the Financial Conduct Authority, and many more.

Keynote speakers at the conference included Dr Jim McCormick of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Elaine Kempson of Bristol University Personal Finance Research Centre.

Iona Bain, founder of the Young Money Blog and author of Spare Change, participated in a debate on the importance of financial education.

Yvonne MacDermid OBE, Chief Executive at Money Advice Scotland, said:

 “Exactly 12 months on from the vote to leave the EU, the implications for consumers are rapidly becoming clear.

“Personal borrowing continues to climb towards pre-recession peak levels and we know, too, that households are saving less than at any time since records began in 1963.

“Over the past year, we have heard a lot about the JAMs – the just about managing households identified as requiring additional support in response to the squeeze on living standards.

“Our annual conference tackled these difficult questions head on, but we also focused our attention on the group we perceive as the NAAMS – households who are not at all managing.

“In this context, the money advice sector in Scotland needs to be ready to pick up the mantle and support consumers in times of financial difficulty.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1.    Money Advice Scotland is Scotland’s Money Charity. Our mission is to be the driving force towards financial wellbeing for the people of Scotland.

2.    Money Advice Scotland is a membership organisation and MAS represent those agencies involved in money advice and debt counselling ranging from voluntary organisations and local authorities through to banks, building societies, other members of the credit industry and government agencies.

3.    The latest Bank of England Money and Credit release shows that total consumer credit increased to £198.4bn in April 2017:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/Pages/mc/2017/apr.aspx

4.    The ONS report that the saving ratio was at its lowest annual rate in 2016 since records began in 1963:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/timeseries/nrjs

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