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Christine Farnish calls on Treasury to publish MAS review

Christine Farnish has called on the Treasury to publish the independent review of the Money Advice Service she carried out last year.

According to, Farnish says the final report was submitted in December and she is “puzzled” at the delay in making it public.

The review was commissioned by the Treasury in March 2014, after the MAS was heavily criticised by MPs.

Farnish, formerly chief executive of the National Association of Pensions Funds and consumer director at the FSA, was chosen to lead the work.

She says: “The MAS review undertook extensive consultation with stakeholders and significant analysis of available evidence. It reached a number of important conclusions to improve a service that has come under a lot of criticism. 

“The Treasury asked me to conduct this, and the final report was submitted on 23 December. 

“I am puzzled as to why anyone would want to delay an open debate on a body that has proved controversial in the past. I hope that the review will now be published.” editor Martin Lewis says the Treasury is trying to “sweep the findings under the carpet”.

He says: “The Treasury has continually delayed publishing this report, and its response, in a cowardly manner – probably to try and prevent the Treasury select committee and others, including me, from commenting on the proof of how poorly managed MAS has been and how much public money has been wasted.

“George Osborne may deem it more unpalatable to publish the findings than not to, but this is something people have the right to know about and I find it farcical that the Treasury is attempting to sweep the likely damning findings under the carpet.”

A spokesman for the Treasury says: “The Government believes that everyone should have access to high quality money and debt advice to help them manage their money well.

“That’s why we commissioned an independent review of the MAS to consider how it can most efficiently and effectively meet this need.

“This review, and the Government’s response, will be published shortly.”


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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Mr Osborne got an MAS that was worth no less than he was willing to spend on it – or at least no less than the amount of taxpayers’ money he was prepared to spend on it.

  2. The treasury should commission an independent review on what is causing the delay in publishing the MAS review?

  3. The Treasury commissioned the report, but who paid for it?
    MAS is industry funded, not taxpayer.

  4. Isn’t debt advice to help people manage their money well an oxymoron? The very reason that people need debt advice is because they haven’t managed their money well, as a result of which they no longer have any money to manage.

    Given that a network of debt counselling agencies already exists across the country (in addition to the CAB), where is the need for the work that they do to be duplicated by the MAS? And why should the MAS be funded by an industry that advises people not on how to get into debt but how to build, to protect and to deploy wealth in a sustainable manner?

    The MAS seems largely to be just another government agency funded by the private sector. And it’s hardly as if it’s been a shining success at that, hence the Treasury’s reluctance to publish its own report which highlights exactly that.

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