Comments were made at a meeting of leading financial experts from Barclaycard, Which? and the Liberal Democrats to discuss ways to halt Britain’s soaring debt levels.
“People simply don’t plan ahead. Unless we get more into intervention rather than cure we will get into significant problems in the future,” said Vernon Everitt, director of the retail themes division at the FSA.
A meeting to discuss debt levels follows the Consumer Credit Counselling Service’s recent warning that the number of cases of “extreme debt” had doubled in the past year.
Mr Everitt added that debt was becoming a problem at an earlier age with the FSA now running programmes at universities to help students tackle their financial problems.
He proposed that banks and existing networks should provide earlier intervention over debt levels rather than giving help only when they became a significant problem.