Money Wise Network
Simply helping a client with money issues could be breaking the law. When does Help become Advice? Money advice is regulated, but do you know where the boundaries are? The consequences of not being licenced can be a fine, imprisonment or both. The Money Wise Network exists purely for charities.
In many client situations, the lack of money is central to most problems. As a charity worker wishing to help their client, it is difficult to know when to stop providing financial help so as to avoid giving unauthorised advice and committing an offence. Whilst providing assistance in preparing a budget may not require a licence, any discussion with a client about their inability to pay their debts does. A recent press release from Advice UK makes the position very clear:
“It is a requirement of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 that any business or organisation that helps people with their debt problems must be licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Providing debt advice without a current Consumer Credit Licence is a criminal offence that could result in a fine or imprisonment or both.” Advice UK Website (January 2012)
Often charity workers will come across clients who need help managing their financial affairs. Providing this assistance may not be part of their core activities, however, it is easy for conversations with clients to drift into regulated areas, The Consumer Credit Act does not make any exceptions for charities or voluntary advice; this creates a problem for both the charity worker and Trustees, who will be held personally responsible.
The Money Wise Network resolves this issue; operating as a charitable organisation that works with charities to provide; education, training and compliance under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. It is also able to provide debt solutions in all situations without passing clients onto further organisations, as well as helping clients avoid repossesion/eviction from their homes. At all times ,clients remain in contact with the source organisation.
By partnering with the Money Wise Network there are numerous benefits to charities that want to ensure that they comply with legislation and do not put their advisors or trustees at risk of fines or a custodial sentence, not to mention providing ‘best advice’ for the client. More details can be found at http://www.moneywisenetwork.org or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Money Wise Network Overview||12/04/12 4:42 pm|