Citizens Advice and Which? seek cash from financial fund

Citizens Advice and Which? plan to apply for money from the Financial Inclusion Fund, which was announced in the Chancellor's pre-Budget statement.

The fund will allocate £120m over three years to credit unions and organisations that provide face-to-face debt advice, said Teresa Perchard, director of policy at Citizens Advice. The Government has yet to reveal who will be in charge of the fund or how groups can apply for grants.

Citizens Advice has 496 bureaux across the UK, making it the largest network of advice agencies providing financial information, Perchard said.

It has pressed the Treasury for an increase in funding for debt advice.

The charity has an annual budget of £40m.

Which? needs money to pilot a national financial advice network to advise people on consumer and money issues. Mick McAteer, principal policy adviser, estimated it would cost £200m to run, but added much of the money could come from existing resources.

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