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FSA sets up committee to scrutinise Money Advice Service

Money Advice Service

The FSA has set up a special committee to scrutinise the Money Advice Service, its budget and business plan after facing a year of stinging criticism.

The minutes from the regulator’s July board meeting reveal a special committee will review the MAS business plan before it is presented to the board in December.

The board also demanded an update on the supervision of MAS in September, after it was revealed FSA chairman Lord Adair Turner has written to the Treasury several times over the accountability of MAS.

The MAS is currently the subject of a Treasury select committee investigation into its effectiveness and has faced criticism over its senior staff pay, online tools and marketing spend.

The FSA board minutes state: “The Board agreed that a committee of the board should be created to review the business plan and budget of MAS in detail prior to it being reviewed by the board in December.

“The board also requested an update on the supervision of MAS in September. The Board then agreed the outlined approach to the proposed oversight and risk assessment, business plan and metrics related to MAS.”

FSA acting chief operating officer Lesley Titcomb, MAS chairman Gerard Lemos and a representative from the Treasury will appoint the next chief executive after Tony Hobman leaves in January.

In a presentation to the FSA board, Lemos and outgoing chief executive Tony Hobman said there was no clear explanation of the role of MAS and the FSA and called for more clarity.

The pair said they would welcome closer challenge and input from the FSA on MAS’s business plan.


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There are 9 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. No! Not another committee we have to pay for? MAS is not fit for purpose, everybody knows that, just shut it down now. It`s our money.

  2. Haha !! just my thoughts Hugh !!

    Another excuse for a group of people to sit around munching hobnobs and wasting my money.

  3. I will serve on this committee, if asked, for free!!!

    But what does Ma think?

  4. Gissa job Lesley, I’m free, well not quite free but a lot cheaper.

  5. lol…the chiefs have said there is no clear explanation of the role of MAS or MA…so what the hell have you been doing for over a year!!!! I agree with Nick there is plenty in the industry who can do a better job on a low budget and for FREE!

  6. A committee means no personal responsibility – perfect for these fools.

  7. Is it not just a bit rich that, in addition to forcing us to fund the MAS, the FSA is going to be spending yet more of OPM to set up and run a committee to scrutinise (whatever that might mean) the failings of the MAS?

    How about blowing a few more million quid on a committee to scrutinise the failings of the FSA? And then yet more still on another committee to scrutinise the inevitable failings of the committee before?

    Only one more committee is required, namely an Independent Regulatory Oversight Committee, with the unassailable authority to say to the FSA/FCA: This is wrong, you aren’t going to do it but, if you do, your budget will be cut and those responsible will be held to account and removed from office.

    It’s the same old problem ~ lack of accountability, and creating committee after committee after committee isn’t going to solve anything or make anyone more accountable.

  8. MAS is, and always was, pointless. Good for their managers and consultants (on a minimum of 500 pounds plus vat per day!)
    For consumers? A bit of a joke, really.

  9. There was an old woman who swallowed a fly…….

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