The Financial Wellness Group has launched, with the mission of improving the wellbeing of people with money worries.
Financial Wellness Group brings together three businesses: Gregory Pennington, Freeman Jones and Wilson Andrews to create one of the largest providers of free debt advice, and solutions, in the UK.
This year Financial Wellness Group will aim to provide advice to over 35,000 people and 10,000 of its customers will become free of serious problem debt.
The business manages £1.1bn of customers’ debt and will return over £90m to creditors in 2020.
Deborah Ware, chief operating officer of Financial Wellness Group, said: “There are now 9m people in the UK who are over-indebted*. By putting the needs of these people at the heart of what we do, we are creating a service that is unique and goes well beyond what other debt advice and solution providers offer.
“We are taking a holistic view of customers’ ‘financial lifestyle’ – for example, by focusing on early intervention strategies to support people with budgeting and provide them with the tools and support they need to get back on track before they get to the point of needing a debt solution.
“We continue to work with customers who are on a debt solution to improve their financial capability and we will support customers when they leave us, to ensure that they are equipped with the confidence and skills to stay that way and build a healthy and sustainable ‘financial lifestyle’.”
Both IVA and DMP customers already have access to their plans online, and this will soon be complemented by an app. As well as being able to track their progress it gives them access to counselling, the videoDoc service and discounts.
Financial Wellness Groups’ existing creditor portal, which enables creditors to manage the debts held in solutions in a secure online environment, will be enhanced to provide additional management information and data to creditors. Currently, 88% of DMP debts are managed via the portal.
Ware added: “Whilst we are expanding our digital offering for customers, we will always be available for those that want to speak to us. Many customers, especially those that are vulnerable, say that the sometimes they want the personal touch and reassurance of speaking to one of our team.
“Customers tell us that getting their finances under control improves all aspects of their lives. Financial Wellness Group is about improving customers’ financial capability – and therefore their wellbeing – wherever they are in their journey.”