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Money Advice Service refuses to reveal expenditure details

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The Money Advice Service has refused to answer questions about how much it is spending on redundancy packages, directors’ remuneration and overseas trips for senior management.

Money Marketing submitted questions to MAS chief executive Tony Hobman (pictured) last week but the service has refused to provide detailed answers as it is not yet subject to freedom of information legislation.

The Ministry of Justice says it is in discussions with the MAS to bring it under the FoI Act.

The questions push for details of senior staff remuneration in 2011/12 and the size of redundancy packages being paid to staff.

Earlier this month, Money Marketing revealed that three-quarters of the MAS team of 150 have been put on consultation.

The majority of MAS staff moved across from the FSA’s Consumer Financial Education Body, when it became the MAS in April.

An MAS spokeswoman has confirmed that all staff who moved across from the FSA are entitled to “a comprehensive redundancy” package, as set out in the FSA’s employee handbook. The handbook states the maximum payment allowed is the greater of one year’s salary or £100,000.

The MAS declined to give details of how much the service has paid towards overseas business trips for senior management but confirmed that there have been four trips since April.

The MAS is funded by a statutory industry levy. It has a budget of £43.7m for 2011/12, which includes £13.5m for staff costs.

The service has spent over £2m on the delivery of its online healthcheck and £4m on an advertising campaign.

Money Marketing asked how many consumers who have completed the MAS healthcheck have taken action to improve their financial situation or sought regulated advice.

The spokeswoman says the healthcheck has had 280,000 visits since it launched in June but refuses to disclose the outcome of the visits.

Technology and Technical founder and director Kim North says: “Any public authority with such a huge industry-funded budget must be open about how it spends its money.”

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Readers' comments (16)

  • Freedom of Information Act? The salries and redundancy payments have, and are being made from tax payers monies. The public has a right to know, unless there are things that MAS wish to hide, but that wouldn't be the case, would it?

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  • Can these people actually get any more dodgy? The UK appears to have become some form of Banana Republic without the sunshine. Disgraceful.

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  • It’s quite sickening that when the IFA world is being lumbered with the RDR and all its so called transparency, this crowed cannot be held to task on what they are paid and redundancy packages. Something is far wrong.
    Jobs for the boys

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  • And exactly who is paying for all of this?

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  • Divide £13 million by 150 and you get £87,000.

    Nice salary if you can get it!

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  • Doesn't all this just want to make you scream (weep really) as it just shows that everthing the regualtor does has been designed on the back of a fag packet. Nothing is ever done properly or thought through. But them again, they ain't paying for all the cock ups are they so why should it matter to them.

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  • We are frequently lambasted and warned to deal with the regulator in an open and honest manner but it is abundantly clear that this requirement only applies to advisers.

    Even though it is industry money that is being tossed aroiund and almost certainly wasted due to bureaucratic ineptitude.

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  • This beggars belief! MAS has only been in existence for a very short while. Why were these people employed in the first place and then made redundant? It nearly tasts of corruption.

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  • This country has been corrupt for years. Only recently are people starting to realise it. The Financial institutions, regulators, multinationals and politicians have it all sewn up. We, however, are well and truly stitched up.

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  • Where's your sympathy guys? I was watching some chap on the TV the other day who was acting as an apologist for the bankers and high earners in the City. Apparently they need their massive salaries because the poor things are 'caught in the wealth trap'! As their outgoings are so high they are actually quite poor and have little disposabe income. Looking at it like this, the figures we are looking at here are quite miserly. It almost feels like we ought to put our hands in our pockets and drop the odd tenner into a tin cup for them.

    Maybe they don't want to disclose the figures because they will seem so paltry next to others in the City that they will be laughed at when they frequent their club!

    I'm not sure what is going on here but they deserve som echarity, after all, it is nearly Christmas.

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