The Treasury has announced the launch of an independent review into the Money Advice Service, to be led by Christine Farnish.
Plans for the review were first revealed in March. Farnish will report to economic secretary to the Treasury Andrea Leadsom by the end of 2014.
Previously chief executive at the National Association of Pensions Funds and consumer director at the FSA, she has pledged to take a “thorough look” at the MAS.
The review will asses the effectiveness of the MAS and recommend any changes it sees as necessary.
Farnish adds: “An independent review of the Money Advice Service is timely in view of the considerable public interest and debate around the service, the new regulatory framework and the government’s recent announcement on pensions. I will be taking a thorough look at MAS, including what it does and how effective it has been in meeting consumer need to date, and I will recommend any changes that would better enable it to meet this need.”
Leadsom says: “I am delighted to announce that Christine Farnish has agreed to lead the independent review of the Money Advice Service. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and understanding of consumer needs, along with experience in industry and a strong operational track record.
“A key part of the government’s long term economic plan is ensuring consumers have access to high-quality financial education and advice.”
MAS chief executive Caroline Rookes says: “We’re looking forward to working with Christine Farnish on the independent review into the Money Advice Service, commissioned by the Treasury today. We’re pleased that the starting point for the review is that the Money Advice Service has a very important job to do, and we’re confident that it will highlight what the Service does every week to help hundreds of thousands of customers through high-quality, free and impartial money advice and the debt advice projects we fund.
“The National Audit Office recently found that the Service was delivering value for money on debt advice and moving in the right direction on money advice. The review provides a great opportunity to build on this, further improve what we do, and help more people manage their money better.”