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MAS review launched under Christine Farnish

“Thorough look” at effectiveness of MAS promised

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. Previously chief executive at the National Association of Pensions Funds and consumer director at the FSA, Farnish will report to Treasury economic secretary Andrea Leadsom by the end of 2014.

The review will assess the effectiveness of the MAS and recommend any changes it deems necessary.

Farnish says: “An independent review of the MAS 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.”

However, Treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie thinks the review should go further. He says: “The terms of reference appear to omit several important issues from the scope of the review, including whether the MAS should exist as a statutory body and whether its governance arrangements are sufficiently robust. Clarification is needed – before the reviewer starts her work – that the Treasury expects her to examine these issues.”

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