The Money Advice Service has reported a loss of £786,000 for the year 2014/15 and handed chief executive Caroline Rookes a £20,000 pay rise.
It marks the first time MAS has made a loss since it was launched in 2010. In that time, levy income has more than doubled from an original take of £32m to £80.6m
In 2013/14 MAS underspent by £805,000, which was subtracted from the total levied in 2014/15.
It then reached an agreement with the FCA and the Treasury to overspend in 2014/15, with funds taken from accumulated reserves.
However, both Rookes and corporate services director Lesley Robinson have been awarded pay rises.
Rookes saw her total pay increase from £163,000 in 2013/14 to £180,000 in 2015/16, while Robinson took home £204,000, up from £187,000 in 2013/14.
All MAS executives are eligible for discretionary performance-related bonuses, set by the advice body at 15 per cent for 2014/15.
MAS levy income rose from £78.8m in 2013/14 to £80.6m, and advisers will see their contributions to the service further increase 16 per cent over the coming year, with the sector’s levy rising from £3.6m to £4.2m.
Levy income for 2014/15 predominately went to the money advice unit, which took in £42.6m, while £38m went to the debt advice business.
However, the money advice unit recorded a loss of £1.4m, while the debt advice business recorded a profit of £1.5m.
The loss was partly driven by increased demand for services, with MAS reporting a surge of almost 90 per cent on numbers of people contacting the service over 2014/15, reaching 8.4m.
MAS spent £45.5m on service delivery, up from £40.9m in 2013/14.
Its money advice unit used the funds for 140,890 sessions of telephone, e-mail and webchat support up from 107,644 in 2013/14, and 95,084 face-to-face sessions, down from 102,720 last year.
The sum also funded 219,700 debt advice sessions in England and Wales at a cost of £29.4m, this represents a sharp increase in 2013/14’s equivalent of 163,000 sessions at a cost of £27.8m.