Help for people to manage their financial affairs.

The CII has welcomed proposals by the government and the FSA to help people take control of their finances.

Yvette Cooper, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and FSA chief executive Hector Sants, launched the Financial Capability Action Plan this week.

CII chief executive Sandy Scott said: “In the current economic climate, a national service that provides independent, accessible and, above all, well-trained guidance on money matters would be a key weapon in the consumer’s armoury for financial capability.”

Under the plan, members of the public can access information through the FSA’s Moneymadeclear website and a helpline, directing them to specialist advice on debt management.

As part of the Money Guidance ‘pathfinder’ recommended by the Thoresen Review of generic financial advice, £12m will be spent next year on free financial advice for households across the North West and North East of England.

Support for personal finance education in schools will be another priority with £11.5m pledged towards the government’s three-year My Money programme. Sixteen million pounds will also be used for the FSA’s Learning Money Matters scheme aimed at four to 19-year-olds to help people understand financial decisions from a young age.

Sants said: “In partnership with the government, we want to develop money guidance to help consumers to be able to make sound money choices, to know what questions to ask of their financial service provider, and, just as importantly, to have the confidence to do so and to know where to go if things go wrong.”