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Aviva invests £9m into Citizens Advice and Business Debtline services to help with crisis support

Female business owner drinking coffee using mobile phone
  • Citizens Advice has supported almost one and half million people across a range of channels over the last year. It had over 46 million views to its website advice pages.
  • Citizens Advice has helped 165,000 people with crisis support in 2022 so far - that’s up 54% on last year and the same as two people every minute.
  • Calls in to the Money Advice Trust’s Business Debtline service were up 24% in the first nine month of this year compared to 2021.
  • 16% of self-employed people in the UK have gone without heating, electricity or water in the past three months, due to the rising cost of living

Aviva announces new partnerships that will see the insurer pledge £7m and £2m to Citizens Advice and the Money Advice Trust’s Business Debtline service respectively over the next two years.

Citizens Advice and the Money Advice Trust, two of the UK’s leading financial support and debt advice charities, can today also share new data showing unprecedented levels of demand for advice and support. As people across the UK struggle to cope with rises in the cost of living, the need for these services has ballooned.

Through Aviva’s support:

  • Around 50 new Citizens Advice advisers will help support as many as 250,000 additional people seeking support through phone lines, webchat and in community settings who may not otherwise have been helped.
  • Citizens Advice will have 50% increased capacity to deliver advice through their website - providing key resources for people before their problems become a crisis.
  • An additional team of Business Debtline advisers will help take an extra 25,000 advice calls and appointments.
  • Business Debtline will help self-employed people and small business owners deal with their debts and take steps to overcome their financial situation.

The Money Advice Trust’s Business Debtline service is the only free dedicated debt advice service for small business owners and the self-employed in the UK. Business Debtline is experiencing a 24% rise in calls seeking help, giving fresh insight into the challenges small business owners face due to rapid and substantial rises in the cost of living.

''We’re proud to partner with Citizens Advice and the Money Advice Trust. Their incredible staff and volunteers are working flat-out to make sure people across the UK can navigate these challenging times. Aviva’s financial support over the next two years will help these brilliant charities get more people and more small businesses back on their feet and build their financial resilience for the longer term.''

Amanda Blanc, Group CEO, Aviva

“We’re seeing huge demand for our services as the cost-of-living crisis piles pressure on family finances. Meeting this challenge means we need more advisers to help people navigate their problems, and the very best online resources so everyone can get the information they need on paying bills, claiming benefits and managing their budget. We’re glad to partner with Aviva to make this happen.”  Dame Clare Moriarty, CEO, Citizens Advice, said.

“The cost of living crisis is having a double impact on small business owners - hitting both their personal and business finances. With millions of people worrying about the cost of living every day, it has never been more important to ensure small businesses get the advice and support they need. The Money Advice Trust’s partnership with Aviva will help this critical part of the UK economy to look forward with confidence.” Joanna Elson CBE, CEO, Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs Business Debtline, said.

"More than ever before, many of those that use our service are struggling to cover the cost of food and basic essentials for themselves and their children. With demand continuously rising, our service has had to adapt to be able to support growing numbers of people that are being affected by the cost-of-living crisis. With our support, people are often able to get control of their finances and challenge debt action and evictions, and in turn focus on improving their health and wellbeing." Vivien Smith, an adviser at Bromley Citizens Advice.

-ENDS-

Further information

About Citizens Advice:

  • Citizens Advice helped 1,492,755 people in the last 12 months (1 oct 21 to 30 sep 22).
  • So far this year (up to October 19th), Citizens Advice has helped nearly 165,000 people with crisis support (charitable support and food bank referrals), which is a 54% increase compared to the same period last year
  • Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  • Citizens Advice’s network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.
  • Citizens Advice helped 2.4 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2020-21. And we had 40 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  • Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,600 service outlets across England and Wales.

About the Money Advice Trust:

  • The Money Advice Trust is a national charity, helping people across the UK to tackle their debts and manage their money with confidence.
  • In 2021, the Money Advice Trust  provided help to 170,420 people to deal with their debts through its National Debtline and Business Debtline services.
  • The charity’s Business Debtline provides free, independent debt advice for self-employed or small business owners – often tradespeople or people working in services, construction, food service activities. Business Debtline is the UK’s only free dedicated debt advice service for people who are self-employed and other small business owners.
  • The charity’s National Debtline offers free, independent and confidential advice on personal debt, over the phone, via webchat and through its website. 

Media Enquiries

Sarah Swailes

Head of Financial Communications

Joe Booth

Financial Communications

Notes to editors:

  • We are the UK’s leading Insurance, Wealth & Retirement business and we operate in the UK, Ireland and Canada. We also have international investments in Singapore, China and India.
  • We help our 18.5 million customers make the most out of life, plan for the future, and have the confidence that if things go wrong we’ll be there to put it right.
  • We have been taking care of people for 325 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2021, we paid £30.2 billion in claims and benefits to our customers.
  • Aviva is a market leader in sustainability. In 2021, we announced our plan to become a Net Zero carbon emissions company by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. This plan means Net Zero carbon emissions from our investments by 2040; setting out a clear pathway to get there with a cut of 25% in the carbon intensity of our investments by 2025 and of 60% by 2030; and Net Zero carbon emissions from our own operations and supply chain by 2030.  Find out more about our climate goals at www.aviva.com/climate-goals and our sustainability ambition and action at www.aviva.com/sustainability
  • Aviva is a Living Wage and Living Hours employer and provides market-leading benefits for our people, including flexible working, paid carers leave and equal parental leave. Find out more at https://www.aviva.com/about-us/our-people/
  • As at 30 June 2022, total Group assets under management at Aviva Group were £353 billion and our Solvency II shareholder capital surplus at 30 September 2022 was £8.8 billion. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
  • For more details on what we do, our business and how we help our customers, visit www.aviva.com/about-us
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