Privacy policy

The Money Advice Trust “The Trust” is a charity founded in 1991 to help people across the UK tackle their debts and manage their money with confidence. The Trust’s main activities are giving advice, supporting advisers and improving the UK’s money and debt environment. We give advice and information to people concerned about their debts through our National Debtline service and the equivalent service to small businesses through our Business Debtline service. We support advisers by providing training through Wiseradviser and recognise innovative debt advice projects through our Innovation Grants. We use the intelligence and insight gained from these activities to improve the UK’s money and debt environment by contributing to policy developments and public debate around these issues.

The Trust (“we” or “us”) take the privacy of your information very seriously. This notice explains how and for what purposes we use the information collected about you.

The Trust looks after the information it holds about you, and respects your privacy. We take appropriate security precautions to prevent your information being lost or falling into the wrong hands. We make sure that the information we hold is as accurate as possible; we do not hold more information than we need; and we do not hold it longer than we need to. We keep records of all personal data that we process ensuring we have identified and documented a legal basis for processing the data. We do not share your data with anyone else without your permission, except when we believe it is the only way to prevent harm to you or other people. If we do disclose information without your permission, this is authorised by a senior member of staff, and we will explain our reason to you at the earliest opportunity. This privacy notice details the way in which we will treat your information, your rights in relation to it, and how we will ensure that your data is kept safe, secure and in your control. It will do this for all the ways in which you choose to access our service. If you have any queries about this notice or anything to do with how we treat your data, please get in touch with us by using the contact details at the bottom of this notice.

National Debtline online account

When you input your personal information and details of your circumstances into your online account a case record will be created. This record will be confidential and it enables us to record details of your circumstances and provide you with advice on all of your options and what we believe are the most appropriate. Your online account will generate a unique reference number which means you can also call us and receive advice. We hold these records for 6 years after the last contact. We do this to enable us to provide you with follow up advice if you need to contact us again and for statistical purposes. After this time, your details are anonymised. We do not pass on your details to anyone else without your consent. You can withdraw your consent or ask to remove your details from the record at any time, either by calling us or writing to us.

On the phone

As part of the advice process we will set up a case record which will be completely confidential and it will enable us to take details of your circumstances and provide you with advice on all of your options and what we believe to be the most appropriate. We will give you a unique reference number which means you can call back and continue to receive advice without having to repeat your details.

We are also able to set up an anonymous record which means you can still call back for follow on advice by quoting the details we provide to you. However, this will mean that we will be unable to post any information out to you but we can signpost you to relevant and appropriate factsheets and information on our websites.

We will not pass on your details to anyone else without your consent. You can withdraw your consent or ask to remove your details from the record at any time, either by calling us or writing to us. We hold your records for 6 years after the last contact. We do this to enable us to provide you with follow up advice if you need to contact us again and for statistical purposes. After this time, your details are anonymised.

Websites

Information automatically collected from your computer.

Log files/IP addresses: When you visit the site our web server automatically records your IP address. This IP address is not linked to any of your personal information. We use IP addresses to help us administer the site, to collect demographic information and to find out such things as how many people are visiting particular pages on our site. Our website may also use a website recording service which may record mouse clicks, mouse movements, page scrolling and any text keyed into website forms. Data collected by this service is used to improve our website usability. The information collected is stored and is used for aggregated and statistical reporting, and is not shared with anybody else. We may also gather other non-personal information (from which we cannot identify you) such as the type of your internet browser which we use to provide you with a more effective service. Cookies: For a comprehensive overview of how we use cookies please refer to our Cookies Policy.

Use of this information

 We will use some of this information in order to:

  • carry out marketing analysis and make general improvements to our site;
  • analyse how users are making use of the site; and
  • obtain your views or comments on the information and advice we provide.

We may collate anonymous data which is shared with our partner agencies, funders and the government. This is to enable us to demonstrate demand and use of the site. If you complete a budget on our websites, this will produce a copy that can be used with creditors. We will not store any of the financial or personal information you input on our systems. If you are completing a joint budget, then you must have obtained permission from the other party.

Webchat

When you communicate with us via webchat, we will not set up a client record. If you have an existing record, we will not update this following a webchat. Any advice we provide will be based solely on the information provided by you in that webchat and will not take into account your full circumstances. Webchats are used for training and monitoring purposes.

Email

You can choose to communicate with us via email to our National Debtline or Business Debtline services Emails received and the replies are saved as correspondence on a record on our confidential database and retained for 6 years. We do this to enable us to provide you with follow up advice if you need to contact us again and for statistical purposes. After this time, your details are anonymised. This information is kept strictly confidential and your details are not passed to any other organisation without your permission.

Client feedback tab on website

If you wish to give us feedback on any element of our services.

We will only use any personal data you may disclose to understand your feedback and pass it on to the relevant department. You will not receive any marketing. If you are making a complaint and you provide contact details we will respond to you. For more details please refer to our complaints policy.

The Trust and how we treat your data

The Trust is committed to good practice in the handling of personal data and careful compliance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act (1988) (references to the DPA shall include, to the extent applicable, the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679).

The Trust is committed to good data management in order to protect people from harm. This means:

  • keeping information securely in the right hands;
  • holding good quality information; and
  • obtaining explicit consent from our clients to record and process their data.

The Trust also ensures that it takes into account the legitimate concerns of individuals about the ways in which their data may be used. In particular, The Trust aims to be open and transparent in the way it uses personal data and, where relevant, to give individuals a choice over what data is held and how it is used.

The GDPR creates new rights for how organisations treats individual’s data and these are detailed below.

The Trust complies with all relevant DPA legislation and also ensures that the principles of the General Data Protection Regulations are incorporated into the service that we provide.

The right to be informed

The Trust will ensure that all individuals understand why their data is being obtained, how it is being used and how they can access it. We shall provide this information in a manner that is concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible. This information is provided for all ways in which you may communicate with us.

The right of access

The Trust wants all people it helps to understand how they can access their personal data, and will ensure that they are able to do this easily and quickly. Please contact us if you want further information on how to access your data.

The right to rectification

In order to provide advice that is comprehensive, accurate and tailored to the circumstances of each person that we help, the Trust wishes to hold accurate data about them. If you believe that your personal data is inaccurate or incomplete then we will ensure that this is rectified. If the Trust has disclosed the personal data in question to third parties it will inform them of the rectification where possible. The Trust will never disclose any data about you without first checking that this is ok with you and making it clear to you why this has been done. Should you want your data to be rectified, then please write to the Trust’s Data Protection Officer (DPO) confirming which data you wish to be rectified. We will respond to you within one month. Where the request for rectification is complex, this may be extended to two months. If the Trust does not take action to rectify the data, we shall explain why and will inform you of your right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office.

The right to erasure

The Trust wants you to be comfortable about the data that we hold about you and we provide the facility for you to request the deletion or removal of your personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing.

You have a right to have your personal data erased and to prevent processing in the following circumstances:

  • where the personal data is no longer necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was originally collected/ processed;
  • when the individual withdraws consent;
  • when the individual objects to the processing and there is no overriding legitimate interest of for continuing to process it; or
  • when the personal data was unlawfully processed and the data has to be erased in order to comply with a legal obligation.

The Trust can refuse to comply with a request for erasure where the personal data is processed for the following reasons.

  • To exercise the right of freedom of expression and information.
  • To comply with a legal obligation for the performance of a public interest task or exercise of official authority.
  • For public health purposes in the public interest, archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific research historical research or statistical purposes; or the exercise or defence of legal claims.

The Trust has a policy of anonymising your data six years after last contact. These records are used for statistical purposes by the Trust. Anonymised records will be held indefinitely.

The right to restrict processing

If you wish for us to no longer process your data, then we will ensure this happens. You may wish to do this if:

  • you contest the accuracy of the personal data;
  • where you object to the processing of the data;
  • when processing is unlawful and you oppose erasure and request restriction instead; or
  • if the Trust no longer needs the personal data but you require the data to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim.

If the Trust has disclosed the personal data in question to third parties, we shall inform them about the restriction on the processing of the personal data, unless it is impossible or involves disproportionate effort to do so. The Trust will inform individuals if it decides to lift a restriction on processing.

The right to data portability

Should you wish for your data to be provided to you in a machine readable format (e.g. CSV) so that another organisation can process this data, then the Trust will facilitate this where possible. Please contact the DPO for more information.

The right to object

You have the right to choose how we use your data, if you object to how we use your data, then please let us know.

The rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

The Trust does not used automated decision making in any of its processes. People that have an online account will be provided with logic driven advice on options but this does not constitute automated decision making.

Direct Marketing

The Trust only uses personal data for direct marketing in the following instances.

  • Stakeholder contact details for email marketing to promote our commercial Training and Consultancy services.
  • Contact details for advisers for email marketing to promote our (free) Wiseradviser courses.

Permission will be obtained when the contact details are provided together with details of how an individual’s details will be processed. The Trust must stop processing personal data for direct marketing purposes as soon as it receives an objection from an individual. There are no exemptions or grounds to refuse. The request must be dealt with immediately and be free of charge.

Transferring your information outside of Europe

As part of the services offered to you, the information you provide to us may be transferred to countries outside of the European Union (“EU”). By way of example, this may happen if any of our servers are from time to time located in a country outside of the EU or one of our service providers is located in a country outside of the EU. These countries may not have similar data protection laws to the UK. If we transfer your information outside of the EU in this way, we will take steps with the aim of ensuring that your privacy rights continue to be protected as outlined in this privacy notice. If you use the site while you are outside the EU, your information may be transferred outside the EU in order to provide you with those services.

How to contact us

The Data Protection Officer for the Trust is the Head of Compliance and Risk. You can contact them by emailing DPO@moneyadvicetrust.org  or by writing to: Money Advice Trust, Tricorn House, 51-53 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 8TP.

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way the way in which your personal data has been handled you can make a formal complaint in line with our standard complaints policy.  If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint after following our process you can raise a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) who will investigate the matter further.