The Money Advice Service has outlined its “spending priorities” for 2012/13 and has confirmed it plans to spend almost half of its £46.3m annual advice budget on marketing and brand awareness.
The MAS has published its 2012/13 business plan today, which confirms its total budget has gone from £43.7m for 2011/12 to £80.8m for 2012/13.
Out of the total, £46.3m will be spent on delivering “money advice” while the remaining £34.5m will spent on debt advice, reflecting the Government’s decision to move responsibility for debt advice to the MAS.
The financial services industry as a whole pays for the MAS’ financial capability remit through FSA levies, while the debt advice element is funded by an FSA levy only on banks, building societies and lenders.
Within the £46.3m money advice budget, just over £20m will be spent on marketing and brand awareness, as first revealed by Money Marketing in December.
The marketing spend will include TV, radio, online advertising, and email marketing.
The MAS plans to spend approximately £7m on staff, £6.6m on delivering face-to-face and telephone services, and approximately £2m on digital products. A further £6.7m will be spent on web and digital build costs.
Operational costs including rent and IT are estimated to be £2.8m, with £979,000 spent on research.
The MAS is aiming to reach 11.3m people a year by 2016/17. It says its “three year forward plan” includes an expectation that the MAS’ financial requirements “will be broadly level for the following two years while the number of customers using our service grows rapidly”.
MAS chief executive Tony Hobman (pictured) says: “This summer we will introduce a transformed generic advice service built on applying everything we have learned about people’s attitudes to money and the common triggers that motivate us into action.
“This transformed service will make money advice much more readily available with much greater impact on action.”
Ahead of the publication of the MAS business plan, Money Marketing revealed the Treasury select sub-committee is to launch an inquiry into the MAS’ effectiveness and the salaries of its senior management.
It follows concerns raised by the Business, Innovation and Skills select committee over Hobman’s £350,000 pay package.
One in three people who have taken the MAS online healthcheck did not remember doing so, with MAS research suggesting the healthcheck is not significantly changing consumers’ behaviour.