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MAS responds to attacks and wants your views

Money Marketing readers will have enjoyed some of the fiery language directed at the Money Advice Service in Parliament in the last fortnight. We were accused of being a “play-ground bully”, offering a “crap” web-site, charged with blowing £20m on TV advertising and overpaying staff. These are serious concerns which require serious responses, so let’s remind ourselves why we are here. It is because our financial capability as a nation is low and there is a huge gap in the provision of advice.

Around 23 million people do not know where to go for impartial advice on credit and borrowing, only 15 per cent can afford a financial adviser and just one in five people have someone they trust to confide in about money. To help fill the advice gap, Parliament agreed by consensus to set up a national financial capability agency. No one else is dedicated to doing that job. We fulfil a unique purpose. We do it in three ways – providing free, unbiased, preventative financial advice – online, over the phone and face-to-face; co-ordinating and funding debt advice and supporting financial education for young people and vulnerable adults.

As one MP put it, we are still a “start-up”, so most people do not yet know we exist. Millions face tough times and life choices with major financial consequences and need to know there is advice available. That is why we are intensively targeting swathes of the population who are likely to need our advice. Others run services driven by the search for great deals or provide expert advice but our principal aim is to bring about a long-term change in the way people behave with their money.

We do not aim to compete with Money Saving Expert, Citizens Advice or IFAs. Each does a great job. We need to complement these and many other roles. I was struck by a remark on the MM website which said: “I strongly suspect the vast amount of people visiting MAS enquiring about protection or savings and investments or whatever are of no interest at all to IFAs.” We know that many IFAs do accept clients on lower incomes but it highlights how the advice gap is filled and our distinct roles.

We have only being going as the Money Advice Service for just over a year and have chalked up some encouraging results. In 2011-12, we provided over 74,000 face-to-face sessions, took 84,000 phone calls and had over one million online visitors. Despite what MM readers may have heard, over 500,000 people visited the online healthcheck, with 58 per cent taking away a personal action plan and nearly 100,000 taking one or more immediate actions.

We aim to reach 1.9 million people in 2012-13 and 11 million annually by 2016-17, with the aim of developing long-term financial capability by having half of these stating we helped them take action.

We are aware of the frustrations. Our chief executive’s remuneration has been cut. We are learning to listen more, be more transparent and responsive. And we are keen to hear views from Money Marketing’s readers.

Gerard Lemos is chairman of the Money Advice Service

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Comments

There are 45 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Simple solution was to expand the role of Citizens advice Centres…funded properly, they do a great job in the area you are talking about, without the state funding a competitor business to IFA’s on top of fighting through costly changes bought about by RDR!

  2. All the above sounds quite reasonable but the truth is rather different…

    The Money Advice Service sent someone out to talk to our local chamber of commerce. The bloke said to employers and I quote “don’t bother with IFA’s they charge you and may rip you off – we are free!”

    I had planned to stay silent but decided to ask a fairly basic pension question and the bloke did not have a clue. My observation that it seems you get what you pay for got a very good laugh.

    I wrote to MAS to complain and the statement was denied. I wish I had taped it and will next time. If you hear MAS is out and about near you show up with a recorder.

  3. Agree with Anonymous – I’d have thought, based on past preformance, that CAB could have done an excellent job given the budget thrown at MAS. I have considered volunteering to CAB, but would never do so for something like MAS.

  4. Nobody asked me if I wanted them but I ended up paying for them. To me they are an unnecessary expense and will achieve nothing except self glorification and a lovely pension. Only option in times of austerity Bin them !

  5. I know an MAS representative and he says it’s ” an easy touch!” you just generalise, get them to go online, do a report & job done. No actual advice given, just point out where they are lacking, no responsibility and you get paid,

  6. I have no objection to the government agreeing to the MMS, but I do object to the cost of this service being funded by IFAs via the FSA. I also object to the suggestion that they are providing free indedendent avice. They shold be using the site to promote IFAs and making people aware of the forth comming RDR changes with regards to commission and charge, which the FSA promised they would do, but have not done to date!

  7. suggestion: drop the service as a waste of time and (our) money and expand the CAB system.

  8. I agree with the first comment the CAB already provide an excellent service and could use the funding the MAS gets to improve and expand the beadth of help. What a waste of money this is and who is responsible for the “advice” they give? What happens when poor advice is given and the person advised loses out financially?

  9. If 85% of the country cant afford an IFA and that is their target market, what the hell are they being funded by our profession for. The 15% who can afford an IFA have to pay extra on the business they do with us so we can still make a profit and fund the bl**dy MAS. So 15% are funding for 85% of the population. That is a total disgrace.

  10. Justin Credible 28th June 2012 at 12:00 pm

    @Simon W, yep I think what we see here is some sort of PR / Damage Limitation exercise going on. If IFAs do such a great job and so many people have visited the website taking away action plans, why is there no one on here coming to their defence regarding the referrals that have come from MAS – I suspect because the real answer they get about IFAs is contained in Simon’s quote above! At least they admit they give advice now though. Why not direct the funds to the CAB, people knew about it and it worked? Ah, therein I suspect lies the answer. What CAB didn’t do well was keep hundreds of Quangocrats in London well fed from the nectar filled trough of “Other Peoples’ Money”. To hell with the real result, let’s just have a jolly expensive process which ticks our self determined boxes!

  11. MAS offering FREE advice is contradicting and should be stamped out NOW.

  12. If MAS wants to hear from IFAs here’s some input, based around 4 questions:
    1. is it a worthy idea? probably yes, especially for debt advice and financial education
    2. is it well run? not currently, as illustrated by most people not knowing it exists despite £20m spent on TV advertising. The MP’s quote from the article is typical of attitudes when non-commercial enterprises are spending other people’s money. To paraphrase, “yes we’ve drained an awful lot of money for little by way of results, but it’s early days yet”. Where is the drive?
    3. Is it value? Obviously it’s no designed to make a profit, but the value so far looks apalling and there must be some stretching targets, chased with real drive and purpose, if MAS is to earn any faith.
    4. why is it funded by IFAs? surely if it’s the brainchild of Parliament in the interests of 23 million citizens, it should be funded through general taxation revenues. and going back to the point on value, I submit that anybody in a commercial business would not fund MAS if they were given a choice.

  13. Having visited the MAS website it states “We give unbiased money advice” and yet I am unable to find any indication that they are on the FSA register so how can they give unbiased (or otherwise) advice.
    The provision of basic information has been around for years via the CAB and it would, as an earlier comment implied, been far more beneficial to enhance that service that start up a new overpaid, under qualified group of administrators with their own interests at heart.
    This costs a fortune with little real benefit to those who need it most but politically it looks good without costing the parliament anything.
    Rant over and back to work providing a real advice service.

  14. Simple solutions are to apply market forces;

    1. Lord Turner says he didn’t agree with the indsutry funding MAS
    2. QED Lord Turner/the FSA shoudl cease to be MAS’s tax collector (and FSCS/FOS tax collector)
    3. The level of funding MAS asks for COULD remain mandatory on the FS sector, but give us the choice of several bodies we pay this money too, including charities.
    4. Example’s could be give us the choice of paying MAS and instead we pay CAB or we fund local charities or Credit Unions or we or our staff do double the hourly rate of the bill as free work for which ever body. I would willingley give my time to some of these bodies and loan out my staff (paid by me) instead of being taxed through a levy for something which is not targeted to the area I live in.
    IF MAS do a good job and prove it, then I could choose to direct some of m y funding there and some to CAB, a bit liek Waitrose and they green tokens you put in for one of three charity options.
    The only use I have found for MAS, it’s predecessor the CFEB and it’s predecessor the Moneymade clear booklets is the booklets which I have rountinley provided to clients as a non provider spin booklet on a particualr subject.
    No one likes being forced to pay to something they disagree with especially when salary levels at the top of MAS are morally repugnant compared to staff at the bottom (unpaid volunteer presenters for instance)

  15. The FSA has much to answer for. The MAS says they fill a gap beacuse IFAs will not deal with those who require more basic advice. You will find that many, many IFAs always did help people from across the board. The reason why? commission from contracts paid for the advice because fees were not affordable. Banks are laying of hundreds of staff because they know their target market, that the MAS will profess to help, cannot afford fees. The whole advice market is a shambles. From my 35 years plus experience, face to face advice works, and if commission is needed to provide that, so be it. The MAS will not fill this gap.

  16. Just checked last years FSA billd for MAS and based on my suggestion an organisation (eitehr the MAS or a respected service like the CAB or local credit union) wouldn’t get enough money from me to make a difference, but they could have about two days work (paid by me) from one of my administrators a year.
    Which would be more useful
    I suspect the skilled time especially if the credit union or CAB made the work enojoyable to the extent that my staff then volunteered to do some work during the year too (which I might then be happy to subsidise).
    All the time MAs is absed in London with morally unacceptable benefit packages for it’s directors, it will receive my scorn.

  17. I must credit you Mr Lemos for actually engaging with the industry, something that too many of your peers have not had the balls to do.

    Taking on board your objective to serve those that fall into the advice gap black hole, which is something we all would like to do, you need to ask the most telling question as to the validity and value of your service.

    Ask a consumer, employer, industry leader, professional adviser or dare I say it a brave local MP;

    “If you were asked to provide guidance to somebody in financial difficulty as to where to go for help and only had two choices, where would you send them? The Money Advice Service or The Citizens Advice Bureau?”

    I think your answer to where future monies for debt help services would be best spent would be ringing in your ears.
    With regards to basic financial advice, there must be 10’000’s of ex advisers who would love nothing more than to get back and provide good old fashioned face to face simplified advice, however the regulatory framework under which we operate means it’s not profitable to do so.

    The Man from the Pru type adviser is booming in Indian and China, that’s what will fill our advice gap in the UK, a website is no substitute and never will be, it can however drive consumers to the many great advisers we have here in the UK and we should be promoting the growth of advisers not kicking them into retirement or hanging up their boots.

    I look forward to a regulatory and governmental U-Turn to promote and bring back the simplified adviser. There would then be no harm in a Gov’t and Industry sponsored website to direct people to the true advisers, maybe it could be called The Money Advice Service?

    Lee Birkett
    CEO
    Trumpo

  18. Dear Mr Lemos

    I agree with most post here that CAB should be used and built on.

    But I just wanted to pick you up on one very important point, have you or the FSA even considered why 15% of people can afford an IFA ?

    Is it not because with the spiraling cost of regulation, levies MAS and RDR will not allow us to offer a cost effective advice service.

    Look at this point you take money from us which increases our costs, the clients cant afford us go to you for “advice” you send them back to us (which they cant afford) and they end up not doing anything how crap is that ? all is does is provide distorted figures as to “look how many people have used our service” but in reality has anyone really benefited ?

    If then the issue is to offer debt advice why are you re-inventing the wheel and not using CAB ?

  19. I agree a service is required but why are we and we alone paying for it

  20. For what it does, I think the MAS is a complete waste of time and money. If people cannot afford a solicitor, there is ‘legal aid’ – solicitors get paid. Then there’s the NHS, again free – GP’s get paid. Why can’t they do this for Financial Advice? Then everybody’s happy!

  21. From experience, there is a limited amount of paperwork that clients will actively read and absorb! Yet having recently carried out an MAS Health Check online to see what was produced I was inundated with documents. Although I am in the business of financial advice, even I was unprepared to wade through the mountain of information, so I very much doubt the target audience will read it either.
    The information may tick all the stipulated boxes but whether people will be inspired to take action remains to be seen.
    MAS seems to be another PC exercise to provide for those that do not provide for themselves at the expense of those actively earning, contributing and planning their lives.

  22. No problem with MAS, just the funding of it. Any other organisation would have gone bust on the basis of its first years performance and why get the people in direct competition with it to pay for it. It`s mad.

  23. Terence P.O'Halloran 28th June 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Close your doors Mr Lemos, and ‘ship out’. MAS is an expensive waste of precious resource.

    The ‘need’ for MAS is exaggerated beyond belief. IFA s are being closed down because of the RDR requirements and over regulation. MAS is born of that process.

    This ‘up start’, NOT ‘start up’ as the author cites, is the result of pure socialist doctrine. Close the businesses and control savings. “We know best”.

    The Chartered Insurance Institute has school programmes designed to do much of what MAS would purport to do at a fraction of the cost. It is manned by volunteers and processed through the Institute. It is delivered free and carries NO bias.

    Many of us (IFA s) provide talks to Rotary , Probus, U3A, and similar groups without obligation and free of charge (and we have passed the qualifying examinations).

    Gerard Lemos and his cohort can, I am certain, be better employed elsewhere.

  24. Soren Lorenson 28th June 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Sadly, Mr Lemos, I could have predicted the poor, bile filled response that your article has generated from my so called ‘comrades’.

    Personally I think the MAS is great. I would happily sell my house, car and children in order to fund it.

    Oh look…here’s my latest invoice…it seems that’s just what you and the FSA want me to do.

  25. I was just wondering if the FSA has a consumer credit licence or is registered to act as debt collectors as it is currently collecting money for what it claims is a seperate body, the MAS?
    I think we may need to start sending seperate cheques/payments for FSA, FSCS, FOS and MAS. We have to pay FSA for our regulatory fees and FOS for our alternative dispute resolution service and the FSCS for the insurer of last resort for our clients (up to £50K). I do not see the link between MAS, us and OUR CLIENTS, these monies are going to someone who is overpaid without anyone having overseen their paydeal (Lord Turner said he thinks Mr Hobman is overpaid and Lord Lemos has cut his pay now they’ve been found out), so why should we fund this.
    Ironicaly I was looking at my MAS bill and actually for the number of MAS booklets and the postage involved in them getting to my office, my money probably is being spent OK, it is the larger firms who are not getting value for their money, especially from Mr Hobman and his mates.

  26. Paul Standerwick 28th June 2012 at 3:07 pm

    it is not free though, is it???? it is paid for by us!! stop saying it is free!!! why does MAS not help people find an IFA? nonsense that people cannot not afford an IFA.

  27. Dominic Thomas 28th June 2012 at 3:14 pm

    The MAS is yet another example of good intentions badly executed, I have grave reservations that you will act on any of the comments outlined.

    You don’t provide advice so change the name. Its a financial information site. I’m wondering how many of your “advisers” have any financial qualifications (let alone the management).

    Sure provide an educational resource, but frankly this does not take much money. May I suggest, that put it to tender? I’m sure that someone like Pete Matthew at Meaningful Money could do a hell of a lot better job at a tiny fraction of the cost.

    Politicians of all parties are not serious about educating the public about finance, if they did, they would be voted out for being such a collective failure with the public purse. Their example is to kick everything into the long grass and hope for the plague that kills people over the age of 70, which is of course the way the majority live.

    I can’t see any reason why MI&ES (Money Information & Education Service) couldn’t be run by a couple of staff with a brain and bit of software…why isn’t it an amalgamation of HMRC in plain English, DWP, Education Authority and FSA. How difficult can this REALLY BE?

    1. Have a Budget
    2. Spend less than you earn
    3. Protect what you have
    4. Build a reserve
    5. Plan for the future
    6. Avoid the use of credit wherever possible
    7. Review (and repeat)

    Mountain, molehill get out of the quango bubble.

    Oh and stop all this nonsense measuring how many people do stuff…millions shop at Tesco and Aldi, but it doesn’t mean they eat healthily (or even eat for that matter).

  28. I know its only one year old, but 1m visits in its first year is success? Moneysupermarket has 7m subscribers to it’s newsletter, without all the other visitors, and they certainly did not spend £20m to get them. Radio 2 probably helped though. So perhaps MAS should speak to Jeremy Vine?

  29. Matthew Thompson 28th June 2012 at 4:41 pm

    The initial idea seems to be quite good, but the execution of it needed much more thinking through.

    You started with the notion that people know they have a financial problem, are happy and willing to discuss and find out more and be willing to follow through with the plan.

    In my (albeit) short experience of being an IFA there is alot of apathy, live for the moment, leave for tomorrow approach to serious financial planning. People need to be told and the consequences spelling out that having no life insurance with a new born is not the best idea.

    A multimillion pound advertising campaign and words and diagrams on a website will not get through, as you have seen to the people who needs it the most.

  30. Whoops, sorry, its moneysavingsexpert with 7m newsletters, not moneysupermarket

  31. Do you expect quality financial advice from someone who is paid £20,000 per annum? That is a couple of thousand less than a FOS adjudicator and more than 17 times less than the head of MAS receives.

    BTW. What do I do with a complaint against a MAS adviser? Do I tell the consumer he can’t obtain compensation?

  32. Ok MAS, my opinion, you’re a bunch of money wasting incompetents. Your “tools” are appallingly useless and the “advice” on your web site is puerile. You should never have been started, you should be disbanded immediately and all sacked for the bad job you’ve done.

  33. Julian Stevens 29th June 2012 at 8:36 am

    Spawned by the FSA with no industry consultation (not that FSA consultations ever seem to make much difference anyway), the MAS has:-

    1. added significantly to an already back-breaking burden of regulatory levies,

    2. overpaid its chief executive,

    3. dumped half its staff within a year of its inception,

    4. insulted IFA’s by suggesting that advice that has to be paid for is a rip-off,

    5. wasted millions of pounds (of OPM) on TV ad’s which it admits have made no appreciable difference to consumer behaviour,

    6. blurred the lines between information and advice,

    7. spent, what was it, £20m on a website that seems to be coming in for varying degrees of criticism from assorted directions,

    8. is resistant to requests under the FOI Act,

    9. has (again without consultation) doubled its budget to enable it to provide debt advice in place of the CAB and other debt counselling agencies, at the expense of those who bear no responsibility for this particular social malaise (why doesn’t the FSA regulate unsecured borrowing?). And, on top of all that,

    10 even the FSA has admitted that it doesn’t agree with the FS industry being forced to fund the MAS.

    Has any other organisation ever been created that’s spent so much money, so quickly, whilst in the process getting so much wrong and provoking so much resentment? Whatever happened to the government’s proposed bonfire of the quangos? You couldn’t make it up.

  34. Peter Davies @ Create Wealth Management 29th June 2012 at 10:38 am

    Gerard Lemos, one of the main gripes IFAs have with the MAS is to do with its funds. Quite simply, I do not agree with the fact that firms HAVE to conttibute towards your running costs. MAS was set up by a government agency via Parliament. It is a service for the public that in your words you “provide free financial advice”. I recognise a potential need for such a service BUT why should we fund it? Shall I expect an invoice for the Citizens Advice Bureau next year or Trading Standards or any other public service? It is absurd and tantamount to robbery that firms are HAVING to make payment to MAS. Please let me know your thoughts on this Gerard.

  35. Question: I don’t have a pension plan ~ what should I do?

    Answer: For anyone who’s not a higher rate tax payer and/or eligible for a substantial employer contribution, pensions are garbage.

    The Conservative party promised in its pre-election manifesto to fix all the things that successive governments have done over the past 25 years to bugger up pretty well everything to do with pensions. It also refuses even to acknowledge let alone address the annuity trap.

    Instead, start saving seriously into an ISA (and resist all temptations to dip into it before you get to retirement).

    Do we really need the £80m p.a. MAS to dispense this kind of generic advice?

  36. I was struck by a remark on the MM website which said: “I strongly suspect the vast amount of people visiting MAS enquiring about protection or savings and investments or whatever are of no interest at all to IFAs.”
    Did it strike you as strange that the same IFAs are FORCED to pay for it Mr Lemos?

  37. If the main reason for the MAS is debt advice, then let the originators of the loans; banks, building societies, other providers of credt, pay for the MAS.

    I saw a nature programme the other night. The mini cam went into the brood chamber of a termites’ nest to reveal a great bloated glistening queen termite, so fat it was incapable of movement, being fed by hoards of workers.

    Remind you of anything?

    There was however, a fundamental difference between the queen termite and the MAS…..

    At least the QT has a constructive role to play in her world

  38. Michael Fallas 29th June 2012 at 1:23 pm

    If the MAS wanted out opinion, they why did they not use some of the £20 million of our money they have spent on marketing on asking IFA’s?

    It is staggering that nearly 1/3 of their budget goes on themselves, over 1/3rd on marketing leaving less than1/3rd on actually helping the people they were set up to help, but not of course giving them advice as they are not regulated to do so !!!

  39. We Fund it, it is to give advise to the public, which they deny is advice, A4E a private NGO get paid by MAS to pay NONE qualified advisors to give NONE advise earning over £20k plus pensions plus expenses, whilst the POLICE INVESTIGATE A4E for fraud.
    Quote from the common purpose BBC.

    Labour MP Fiona Mactaggart told the Commons that since May 2010 A4e had won contracts from the Department for Work and Pensions worth £224m.

    She added: “In view of the fact there are record numbers of unemployed people and that employees from this company have been arrested, what action are you taking to make sure neither vulnerable unemployed people nor the taxpayer are victims of fraud by A4e?”

    Meanwhile, Margaret Hodge, Labour chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee, has called on the government to suspend its welfare-to-work contracts with A4e until the investigation was complete.
    Their ex chairman took £8.5 Million in dividends last year!!!

  40. Interesting reading! I wonder at what point Mr Lemos will step back in and further try to defend the name of the MAS – or whether he is at home at this very moment, packing his bags and making a hasty retreat! After all, he can afford to jet off anywhere on his 75k salary for just 2 days ‘work’ a week!! this is likely to be double, or even higher than the average salary of the 80+ staff members they axed within a year of the offical MAS launching.
    I wonder if there are figures in the public domain for how much was spent on their ‘transformation programme’ and enhanced redundancy package for the poor, unsuspecting staff (who quite frankly, are probably better off out of this shambles).
    You’ve had your free ride Hobman and Lemos – your reputation is in tatters, surely your pride must dictate that you give up now?

  41. My views;
    Resign – £70k for 2 days a week……!!!!?
    For what, I’d never even heard of Lemos before this.
    What did he do to get where he is? Must look o google while I try and sort my debt problems out using MAS.

  42. Gerard Lemos CMG studied English and History at the University of York, followed by a post-graduate certificate in accountancy and finance. He has held various voluntary appointments: the most recent being Acting Chair of the British Council (July 2009 – March 2010), Deputy Chair since 2003 and a Board member from 1999. He was Chair of the Akram Khan Dance Company (2003-2008); Board Member at The Place Theatre (2001-2003); Vice-chair of Homeless International (1998-2000) and a Board Member of LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre (1993-2001). He is currently employed as a Partner for Lemos & Crane Social Research (since 1990); Vice-President of the British Board of Film Classification (since 2008) and Professor in international social policy, Chongqing Business and Technology University, China (since 2006).

    In the past he has been employed as Chairman of Notting Hill Housing Group (2004-2006); Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission (2001-2006); Director of Studies at the School of Social Entrepreneurs (1997-1999) and Director of Asra Housing Association (1982-1985). He has been part of advisory groups, committees and commissions including the Cabinet Office Strategy Unit’s advisory group on ethnic minorities in the labour market (2002); Chair of the Social Exclusion Unit, Policy Action Team on community self-help (1998-1999), and Chair of the Arts Council of England’s cultural diversity committee (1998-1999). He has written publications on communities and neighbourhoods as well as on supporting vulnerable people: Community Conflict: Causes and actions (2004); The Communities We Have Lost and Can Regain (1997), and Urban Village, Global City: the regeneration of Colville 1993-1998 (1998).

  43. Larry in London 29th June 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Has anyone ever seen a quango do something useful?

    Thought not.

  44. Thank you for inviting us to express our views, Mr Lemos. A lot of people would not do that. However, I would actually be more interested in hearing your views. The first paragraph of your article says:

    “We were accused of being a “play-ground bully”, offering a “crap” web-site, charged with blowing £20m on TV advertising and overpaying staff. These are serious concerns which require serious responses”.

    You then go on to provide NO serious responses to those accusations. I would be interested to hear your views on why you believe those points have been levied at the MAS.

    As a supplementary point, if many parties who aren’t forced to pay for the MAS think it’s not up to much, please do not be surprised when those who are forced to pay for it aren’t happy about it. If you were forced to give up some of your earnings to fund something that, by all accounts, wasn’t particularly good and you had no control over, I would suggest that you would not be particularly happy either. Please take time to put yourself in our shoes.

  45. It sounds more like a Broadway farce,managed by the empressario ‘Lemos’ and his extraordinary performing rats.
    There is no need to ‘ask the audience’ in this charade of ‘who wants (is) to be a millionaire?’
    The MAS runs the show,fixes the questions,fixes the winners.
    We as a result, are unable to hold our heads up and say ‘we are an honest nation with a history of regualtion envied across the world’
    What an appaling example we must be and no doubt the rest of the world are having a good laugh at this debacle.
    Falling on the sword is an honourable thing to do when things get thgis bad-but we are not dealing with honourable people,so they snigger and carry on as if we are not there.
    Disgusted,ashamed, and totally helpless of ‘g’reat Britain.

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