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Money Advice Service defends A4e relationship

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The Money Advice Service has defended its relationship with A4e, a contracting company which has hit the headlines after it was revealed the police are investigating fraud allegations at the firm.

A4e delivers the MAS’ face-to-face advice service in England and Northern Ireland but MAS says the arrests and allegations are not in any way related to the service it provides.

A4e founder and chairman Emma Harrison, who received an £8.6m dividend in 2010, was forced to step down from her role as Prime Minister David Cameron’s personal adviser on problem families in the wake of the arrests.

Thames Valley Police is investigating the fraud claims which involve four former A4e employees. The allegations are only in relation to A4e’s welfare-to-work contracts.

In a statement issued earlier this week A4e said that between December 2005 to date, nine cases have been referred to the Department of Work and Pensions to review claim submissions. This includes the latest Thames Valley Police case.

The statement from A4e chief executive Andrew Dutton said: “I cannot emphasise enough that there is no place for fraud at A4e, and that is why we have created rigorous internal processes, cooperate with all external audits, and have brought any known issues to the attention of the authorities.”

The MAS says the investigation has no bearing on its face-to-face advice service.

An MAS spokeswoman says: “Our face-to-face service in England and Northern Ireland is contracted to A4e. This is an important aspect of our service, and we keep a close dialogue with A4e at all times about service delivery.

“We are aware of some matters that have recently been raised in the media. These matters do not relate to or affect any aspects of our service delivery.”

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Readers' comments (17)

  • Could someone please explain what this company actually do for MAS??

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  • Due Diligence due? perhaps we should spare comments until some solid facts are known.

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  • Just part of the gravey train

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  • David, as well as being a welfare to work organisation which receives government funding to get people back to work
    "A4e is delivering face-to-face money advice sessions in England and Northern Ireland on behalf of the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation providing free, unbiased money advice for everyone in the UK.

    Our trained Money Advisers can cover everything from budgeting to saving, credit and borrowing, mortgages, insurance, pensions and retirement planning" this is from their website.. Apparently they pay around £20K to their trained advisers.
    This is what you & I and a lot of others are paying for. This should be funded by government and not by small business.
    Apart from which, can you imagine the outcry, if an adviser used a provider, one arm of which was suspected of fraud?

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  • Jobs for the Boys / Girls. Part of the gravy train using money EXTORTED from advisers. If an IFA or mortgage adviser was found to have committed or been party to fraud, they would have been fined, barred from holding any directorship and possibly imprisioned. Just look at the headlines this week, with brokers (quite rightly) having all these thing applied to them. It makes me sick the double standards applied to us and that literally, cohorts of the FSA get away with this.

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  • Money Advice Service is paid for from the likes of me An IFA - I understood that A4e was an organisation that people on Job Seakers allowance were sent to them to get them back to work - I don't understand how this equates to financial services unless there is a lot of financial advisers out of work who were offering advice whilst getting Job Seakers allowance

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  • Anonymous@ 5.28 and David, A4E are associated with the none political charity COMMON PURPOSE which runs courses like leading beyond your authority for leaders see
    They are subcontracted by the MAS at our expense to employ none qualified advisor's (who Mas say dont advise) Note above trained Advisors!!! the adverts for none qualified staff are on the A4E website. Yes anonimous they are funded by the tax payer as well and aim to take over from the time served and qualified IFA's who are put out of business by RDR, leaving their clients without a trusted advisor.
    Anonymous please advise me how many (advisers employed at £20,000 + a year) are level 4 qualified??? Amazing that its chief executive alegedly takes dividends of £8 million plus a year in dividents for something (as you say) is funded by government.

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  • So, the financila services industry is funding basically a limited company out to make a profit. This says it all . I do not rtemember this going out to general public tender, otherwise a group of qualified advisers(notice the words used) qualified might well have got together to form a company to tender. After all all the expertise would have been there. What a con

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  • The MAS says the investigation has no bearing on its face-to-face advice service.

    I though MAS was not an advice we pay for the service and their wages for them to contact out advice face to face.

    I think i am going to to call the OFT. this cannot go on.

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  • I would think that A4e would be perfect to give advice on how to make £180 million PROFIT from our hard earned taxes in this continued privatisation of public services. Fraud is the least of it! And using mandatory free labour to man their own offices. Rip-off merchants and spivs.

    For the MAS to say that the "allegations are not related to their service" is disingenuous at best - the whole organisation of A4e is corrupt at its very basis.

    I also wonder when the tax authorities are going to start looking at them, not that they have a very good record of chasing such large, and politically well-connected, companies.

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