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MAS claims to help millions as it beats customer service targets

Caroline Rookes: At the Treasury select committee

Money Advice Service performance data for the last three months shows it has comfortably beaten all its customer service targets with chief executive Caroline Rookes claiming this proves the body helps millions of people.

The data, published today, shows 93 per cent of customers surveyed between April and June would revisit the service against an annual target of 88 per cent.

A total of 91 per cent of customers would recommend the service compared to MAS targets of 85 per cent for 2013/14.

Some 88 per cent of customers say MAS provided them with the information they required, against a target of 82 per cent, while 78 per cent say the service helped them decide on a course of action, beating the 70 per cent target.

MAS says it has had 2.52 million “customer contacts” between April and June, well on course to beat its annual target of 5.45 million.

They are broken down into 25,000 face-toface contacts, with 23,000 over the phone, 7,000 web chats and 2.47 million “online contacts”.

Customers have completed 39,000 budget planners in the quarter, which is a slower rate than needed for its 200,000 annual target.

Rookes attended a blistering session of the Treasury select committee last month where MPs accused MAS of not knowing what it is doing and attacked the “meaningless” business plan.

She says: “These results indicate the positive difference which the Money Advice Service makes to millions of people’s lives. They also demonstrate the tremendous progress we’re making towards delivering our new business plan.

“I’m hugely encouraged to hear how many people are taking action as a result of the advice they have received.”


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There are 17 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. So that’s okay then. As long as my money has gone to a good cause I’m more than happy. Not sure what the reference to advice is, though.

  2. “I’m hugely encouraged to hear how many people are taking action as a result of the advice they have received.”
    Prove it.

  3. Well, she would say that, wouldn’t she!

    No matter how cleverly you phrase customer surveys, we all know that this is a white elephant that is far from cost effective and potentially harmful to those who are obliged to fund it.

    The only meaningful statistic is the number of completed budget planners. Surprise, surprise – it is way below the targeted figure …….

  4. The headline has two words missing!

    “Itself to” would be more accurate if inserted between help and millions.

    How many people actually complete the satisfaction surveys that often pop-up when using websites?

  5. 147kg of teabags were used in the office in the quarter; 8140 litres of water were flushed down the office lavatory; 35 boxes of copier paper were used, of which one box was turned into paper darts.

    Surely these are just as meaningful self-justifying statistics as x people visited a website. Compare the number against users of facebook to create context. Or perhaps find out the y% who thought any of the customer contacts to be of any use, and even dare quote the z% who visted the website, thought it a load of rubbish and wouldn’t waste another breath visiting it again.

  6. Funny that, I’ve never had anyone come to me and say they have used or even heard of the service!

  7. 2.47m web contacts huh!

    2/3 will have been search engine bots…

  8. £78.3m budget. Let’s be generous and assume the website cost £5m which obscene on it’s own that’s 7,000 x say 30 min web chats; 23,000 x say 30 minute phone calls, and lets allow 2 hrs for each of 25,000 face 2 face meetings. That’s 65,000 hours of advice at the average £156 per hour of UK financial advisers that’s £10m plus £5m support and a £5m website WHERE HAS ALL THE MONEY GONE?

  9. And I have fairies at the bottom of my garden.

  10. I am getting cross – that’s advice from MAS charged at £1051 per hour!!!!!!!!

  11. Breaking News: Martin Wheatley is allegedly delighted at MAS’ success, as:

    1. No clients are “confused” about the fees;

    2. No products have been sold, so no misselling; and

    3. No further need for those pesky IFAs!

  12. That seems improbable as it would mean about 3.5% of the total population have visited it, including Prince George!

    We’ve been on it at least 20 times in the last 3 months just looking at the annuity comparison. So did someone get the comma wrong in the numbers?

  13. Are we ok to charge what MAS charges then?

  14. If this “business” is now mature and good at providing “advice”—- sorry—- what they said was “the service helped them decide on a course of action” then why not cut it free from our subsidies and allow them to charge fees.

    If they are so popular and needed surely the public will pay for their advice ??

  15. Formulating an action plan is not the same as putting one into action and then sticking to it. No data appears to be available on the latter. Does the MAS ever contact people after a year to find out whether or not they actually implemented and then stuck with the MAS’s recommended action plan? If they haven’t done so, then nothing of any practical value will have been achieved. Methinks Ms. Rookes is putting a decidedly glossy spin on a crucially incomplete picture.

    And still we don’t know just what differentiates the MAS from the CAB.

  16. Martin Jeffery 27th July 2013 at 3:00 pm

    It does seem an expensive service. I am more disappointed for the people using it as it would seem that out of 2.52 million contacts, only 39,000 budget planners were done – that is a dismal 1.5%. How can a customer get truly good advice if a fact find is not done? The budget planner and a fact find drive everything as every professional adviser knows. How can this result in good ‘outcomes’ based advice?

  17. Nick Manthorpe 30th July 2013 at 9:19 am

    It is interesting to read that Caroline Rookes believes the MAS are now giving advice. Note the last sentance reported in this piece – “I’m hugely encouraged to hear how many people are taking action as a result of the advice they have received.” I didn’t think they were authorised to give advice!

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