The Money Advice Service has made a £500,000 provision in its 2018/19 budget for work related to moving to the new single financial guidance body.
In the business plan, published this week, MAS says the £500,000 will “fund transition projects and professional and legal fees to support the transfer of staff, information, knowledge, processes, assets and liabilities as well as closing MAS as a legal entity”.
An extra £200,000 has been added to the money guidance budget to cover these costs and an extra £300,000 has been added to the debt advice budget.
MAS is proposing a total budget of £83.5m in 2018/19, which is an £8.5m increase from the £75m budget in 2017/18. MAS is funded through separate levies on the financial services firms.
MAS is set to be rolled into the two other major public guidance bodies, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise, to create a single guidance body no earlier than Autumn 2018.
MAS chief executive Charles Counsell says in the business plan: “We anticipate that during the course of the year that this draft plan covers, MAS employees will find their current employer ceases to legally exist and that they will transfer into a new organisation. I do not underestimate the challenge we have set ourselves in delivering a full year’s business plan against the backdrop of that simple fact, but that is what we intend to do.”
Counsell adds: “It is important to state that despite the fact that MAS will cease to exist legally during the year, we have agreed with Government and the FCA that this plan should be a full-year plan.”