Spokeswoman Moira Haynes said that the pace of change in the financial markets was not matched by people’s awareness, leading many to get into debt through their ignorance.
“British consumers are paying a high price for being ill-informed and unconfident when it comes to making crucial decisions about their personal finances,” said Ms Haynes.
“The pace of change in the financial services market has made it almost impossible to keep up and this has left people ill-equipped to spot when they are falling victim to shark practice and to manage debt problems when these arise.”
Figures released last month showed that the number of insolvencies and plans such as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) are soaring as people fail to manage their debt.
Ms Haynes fears that ignorance is leading to poor financial skills which some firms are profiting from.
“Financial literacy is no longer desirable it is essential,” she added, stressing the need for people to take financial advice.