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Free advice service will act like a canary in a coalmine and guide regulation

The Government’s free advice service will act like a “canary in the coalmine” and help guide future regulation, according to its managing director Tony Hobman.

Speaking at the Building Societies Association annual conference in Birmingham last week, Hobman said that the Money Advice Service will be able to pick up on any potential regulatory issues through its dealings with consumers.

He said: “What I would say is that the Money Advice Service, because of the way that it is going to have contact and dialogue with so many people over the years, will become part of that very good dialogue that will help to guide where regulation should be or should not be, a bit like the canary in the coalmine.”

If I Were You managing director Rob Clifford says: “There is no question that it can highlight systemic failure of either design or industry practice. However, I cannot help but think that it would be a great shame if it became the most useful barometer because it would mean that the sector had failed to spot problems.”


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There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. George Williamson 13th May 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Tony Hobman – the only “Systematic Failure” you need to address is the name “Money Advice Service” as you do NOT provide advice. This systematic failure will cause significant confusion for Joe Public as they will not understand if the are getting advice or not. Please could you change your name to “Money Information Service” to accurately reflect you sevice.

  2. the only advice you will get here will be how to complain, given by people who reach this decision using a tree for guidance

  3. Is it any wonder that non-advised services get away with lokoing like they provide advice when the governement’s own guidance service refers to itself as advice.

    I am sure that in any other professional field (medicine, law etc.) anyone masquerading as a registered practitioner would be summarily dealt with however in our field the government positively encourages charlatans!!!

  4. What advice?

    I didn’t realise they were authorised to give advice.

    Oh they aren’t are they!

  5. As I recall, most canaries died. My guess is that this scheme will also die, slowly but inexorably.

    Of course, while us mugs are made to fund it, then like any other unaccountable quango it will continue to spend and pretend that its services are making a material difference.

    I fear the only measurable material difference will be to my annual fees.

  6. Does this mean that the money advice service is going to be going beyond its remit?

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