As part of its UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, MaPS asked Strictly Financial to conduct an evidence review exploring the impact of COVID-19 – and the subsequent lockdown measures – on groups already vulnerable to financial shocks and their ability to access debt advice.
The research found that those groups who were more likely to be in financial difficulty prior to the pandemic continued to be disproportionately affected. People from a global majority/ ethnic minority background, and those with physical or mental health disabilities were most disadvantaged compared to the rest of the population. Young people were also more likely to face financial difficulty during this period than older people. And while the rapid adoption of new technologies, alongside the greater use of telephone consultations, enabled the majority of debt advice services to be maintained, there were concerns that there remained an unserved population for debt advice due to the closure of in-person services.