R3 slams cowboy advisers.

R3 has set up an email hotline for public complaints about unlicensed advisers, as it attempts ‘to root out both dubious debt advisers and those practitioners who deal with them. A tiny number of practitioners may be taking cases captured by these ambulance chasers,’ said R3.

Although unlicensed debt advisers can trade with a consumer credit license issued by the Office of Fair Trading, they must go through a licensed practitioner to obtain an individual voluntary agreement – the measure cowboy debt advisers attempt to sell as a magic solution.

Oldfield criticised the licences: ‘This scrap of paper is worthless,’ he said. ‘OFT licences have been held in disrepute for some time and should be scrapped in favour of proper regulation.’

R3 is also working with other bodies to develop ethical advice to help stamp out the problem.

Email hotline is at

Related reading