Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban has written to the Money Advice Service over concerns it may drop its work on financial education for young people, Money Marketing understands.
Last week, Money Marketing revealed MAS was making swingeing cuts to staff numbers. It is understood over three-quarters of the 150 staff have been put on consultation, including its team focusing on young people. This follows a review of its products, services and delivery channels.
In July, Hoban gave MAS the task to review provision of financial education in schools and for young people. Money Marketing understands Hoban has written to MAS to voice his concern that this work will be scrapped.
An MAS spokeswoman refuses to comment on the letter, but says: “We intend to undertake a research project to consolidate our understanding of all the existing evidence covering the impact of educational practice and to map the wide range of initiatives that are funded by the financial services industry.”
It is understood all MAS roles other than senior management and central operational jobs could be scrapped. A source close to the organisation says MAS plans to recruit 50 new staff with social media and digital skills next year to focus on the website and scrap its phone and face-to-face service. The spokeswoman denies these services will be cut.
MAS was launched in April and is funded by a statutory industry levy. It has a budget of £43.7m for 2011/12, which includes £13.5m for staff costs. It has spent over £2m on delivery of its online healthcheck and £4m on an ad campaign.
Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall says: “MAS would have a greater mass-market appeal online and cost the industry less to fund.”
An e-petition, started by Moneysavingexpert.com founder Martin Lewis, calling for financial education to be compulsory in schools has reached 100,000 signatures which could trigger a Parliamentary debate. The All Party Parliamentary Group on financial education for young people has 225 MP members.