To say we are not the biggest fans of the Money Advice Service would be something of an understatement.
The idea is brilliant, the execution is lousy.
We need a national money guidance service, free at the point of use, which helps those in society without access to professional advice to better manage their finances.
There is no question of the Money Advice Service ever being in competition with IFAs; we work with a very different demographic and provide specific advice, rather than generic information.
That we pay for the organisation, rather than it being taxpayer funded, has always rankled.
We resent paying for something that does not benefit our clients. Ultimately our clients pay for this social service, to provide money education and guidance to wider society.
It was positive to see the Treasury select committee concluding the Money Advice Service is “not fit for purpose” in its latest report.
They wanted to call for it to be scrapped entirely, but are holding fire waiting for an ongoing investigation into its future by the Treasury itself.
This is organisation that excels at wasting other people’s money.
They blew £20m on communications and marketing in 2012-13, including one of the most annoying TV advertising campaigns known to humankind.
They also paid their former chief executive an “excessive” amount, which (according to the MPs) undermined “the credibility of the organisation”.
The Money Advice Service has to go.
The valuable bits of what it does (or should be doing) could be covered by Citizens Advice, and perhaps the Personal Finance Education Group.
There would still be some debate over whether this should be taxpayer funded, rather than paid for by the customers of retail financial services companies, but I for one would much prefer to see some of our profits diverted to efficiently and prudently run organisations with a successful track record.
Here is hoping that the Treasury reaches the same conclusion, and quickly.
Martin Bamford is managing director of Informed Choice