05 November 2009
Consumer rights group praises debt management probe
The launch of an investigation into trading practices used in the debt management industry has been welcomed by one consumer rights group.
Which? has praised the decision to review the sector, with personal finance campaigner art the body Vera Cottrell stating that the move is crucial given the current state of many people's finances.
"The free debt advice sector is struggling to keep up with demand and more people are probably looking at getting debt advice," she stated, adding that there have been some "shocking practices" seen in the market in relation to misleading advertising.
She noted that Which? conducted its own review into the market in 2007 - prior to the onset of the economic crisis - and found that many firms were putting a focus on selling products, rather than giving accurate advice.
The OFT announced the review earlier this week, stating that it aims to gain a greater insight into the practices used by businesses specialising in debt management.
It may also unearth any instances of discrimination against customers based on how much they owe.
An online forum will be launched, giving consumers the ability to file complaints about businesses.