Introduction to the CFS

This section provides a general overview of the CFS including information about its history and the main benefits of using the tool.

  • Q:What is the CFS?


    The CFS is a budgeting tool that can be used by advice agencies and other third party organisations to make debt repayment offers to creditors on behalf of clients. It provides a detailed budgeting format enabling an accurate overview of a client's income, expenditure, assets and liabilities to be produced.

  • Q:What are the benefits of using the CFS?


    The CFS:

    • Features a detailed budgeting format to assist with the preparation of repayment offers that are designed to be realistic, sustainable and stand the test of time;
    • Is underpinned by a commitment from supporting creditors to accept offers made using this budgeting format providing the underlying principle is met. The CFS principle is that offers are made by independent money advisers, based on expenditure within trigger figures following guidelines;
    • Encompasses a partnership approach to dealing with over-indebtedness;
    • It improves communication and transparency between creditors and third-party organisations negotiating on behalf of clients; and
    • Is recognised within a range of formal schemes and codes of practice.
  • Q:When was the CFS established?


    The CFS was first published by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and the Money Advice trust (MAT) in November 2002. In April 2004, the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) became the third sponsor.

  • Q:What is CASHflow and how does this link with the CFS?


    CASHflow is an assisted self-help debt advice resource. It works by supporting clients to make repayment offers directly to their creditors with assistance from a money advice agency. CASHflow clients need to complete a CFS as part of this process with a money adviser.

  • Q:How can I find out about the recent CFS developments?


    If you are a licence holder, you can access the CFS resources section of this website where you can read about the latest CFS updates.

  • Q:How do I access the latest version of CFS?


    The current version of CFS is dated April 2019. We have created a troubleshooting guide to help licence holders access the new version quickly and without difficulty.

    The Common Financial Statement is usually updated annually. There is a two-month switchover period to allow licence-holders to introduce updated trigger figures.

    CFS may be updated more often or at other times of the year if necessary, for example, because of changes to the cost of living or changes to welfare benefits. Licence holders will be alerted of changes by ebulletin and via the website.

  • Q:Can I download a briefing on the CFS?


    This briefing document from December 2014 provides an overview of the CFS, focusing on policy principles, background and recent developments.