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Money Advice Service chief defends £350k pay to MPs

Money Advice Service chief executive Tony Hobman says the importance of the MAS’s work is enough to justify his £350,000 remuneration package.

According to a written answer to a parliamentary question to Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban, Hobman’s total package for 2010-11 was £349,341, making him the MAS’s highest paid director.

Asked about the level of his pay at the business, innovation and skills select committee this morning, Hobman said his actual salary was £250,000 with the rest being made up in benefits.

He said: “I believe we have been tasked with something, which if as we intend, we get right will make a hugely significant difference to millions of people’s lives. If we are successful all of the costs associated with that will be considered to be value for money.”

When BIS Committee chairman and Labour MP Adrian Bailey suggested that even at £250,000 it is a salary of over £100,000 more than the Prime Minister for the head of a relatively small organisation, Hobman replied: “Then I feel hugely incentivised to do it.”

In November, MM revealed MAS put up to half of its staff on consultation after a review of its products, services and delivery channels. Questioned by committee member and Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi over the restructuring within the MAS, Hobman said the net change in staffing would be from 140 staff to 80. He said he was “absolutely” confident quality of service would be maintained.

He said: “We will measure success by the use and reach of our tools and the underlying change in people’s capabilities.”


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

  1. Jobs for the boys

  2. Let’s be honest, we’d all be happy to do the job for half the amount.

    So please no envious comments as we all know he is being paid way way too much.

    Ps on a scale of 1 to 10 how hard can the job really be? (10 being really hard)

  3. More corruption.

    How sad the UK has stooped to this.

  4. £350,000 per annum ????? !!!!!!!

    For one bloke???? Or the whole function?

    That really is a total p… take.

    These people are taking all of us for a ride.

    Bloody disgraceful!!

    For crying out loud, will someone, anyone, somehow do something to stop this appalling waste.

    TSC – time to stand up!

  5. the arrogance is breathtaking

  6. Can someone explain to me why this man – whoever he is – is being paid such an extortionate amount of money for an essentially irrelevant job that few people seem to be aware.

  7. For an 80 strong organisation that isnt authorised to give advice, the salary package seems high to me!

    As he said, a huge incentive. I assume when the workforce shrank by almost half so did his salary? Or was it just his staff that bore the burden?

  8. Extracting the urine anyone !!!


    No doubt his Retirement PENSION Package will be far in excess of the average £35000 fund.

    HE is not worth this level of SALARY

  10. Charles Mclaughlin 13th December 2011 at 12:34 pm

    What do you mean you think the salary seems high? Is he one of David Cameron’s pals. I have heard of jobs for the boys but normally they try to slip them in at £50K directorships. Has this guy ( whoever he is ) got something on the present Government? or has he been brought in as a cousin of Fred the Shred to cut numbers and then go off with a huge payoff and investment into his pension pot!

  11. I have been trained to deliver their Money presentation to employees at their place of work. This is a pro bono effort that I am happy to do, but several times I have asked if they will pay my travel expenses. The answer is always “no” which seems a little unfair.

  12. You say you are speechless-of course you are!
    It goes on and on and nobody does anything about it.
    How about a Revolution?
    It seems to work for everybody else,so why not you?
    Seriously we are even more of a laughing stock with other countries and industries.
    I am ashamed to be part(ex) of this,and would admit to anything rather be associated with this atrocious situation.
    Is there anybody out there who can do anything?
    Is that a plane I see, or is it a bird,NO its SUPERIFA-we are saved!!

  13. I am so pleased to be contributing to this ‘free’ service.

    I wonder if they need a cleaner? I only need – what – £100,000 per annum? seems reasonable on the My Absurd Salary (MAS) scale…

    Disgruntled IFA

  14. Truly a ridiculous remuneration package for such a manifestly misguided concept.

    When it has made “a hugely significant difference to millions of people’s lives” then maybe we can discuss a bonus, until then stop ripping us all off?

  15. Dear disgruntled
    I am starting a Revolution to take back what we have lost.
    Dignity, professionalism, credibility and a personal sense of doing the right thing for our customers.
    All these so called ‘professional organisations’ FSA et al are no more than a bunch of charlatans,but we let them get away with it.
    Start our own organization-heard it before,withold our fees(if you dare says the Regulatory body)
    A simple expedient is to rise up and overthrow the buggers!!
    cheers from all the peasants and the sound of the guillotine makes pleasant listening.
    All we need now is a script writer and a producer!!

  16. Disgraceful !!!!!!!!!!!

  17. The MAS extorts money from small businesses, over and above the taxes they already pay,
    to fund this greedy pigs fat cat salary.
    If it were happening to anyone other than IFAs’ there would be a public outcry.
    When it all fails as it surely will how much will his redundancy racket be?
    Why on earth will the TSC take no action over all these overfunded, socially useless quangoes?

  18. Becoming a headcase IFA 13th December 2011 at 12:54 pm

    According to the MAS website:
    Tony is Chief Executive of the Money Advice Service.

    Previously CEO of the Pensions Regulator, Tony has held a number of senior appointments within financial services, including Barclays Bank, and was the CEO of ProShare, the Money Channel plc and the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority.

    Not surprised there is a bank in there.

  19. This career bureaucrat with a regulatory background is clearly ideally suited for the role (NOT):

    Previously CEO of the Pensions Regulator, Tony has held a number of senior appointments within financial services, including Barclays Bank, and was the CEO of ProShare, the Money Channel plc and the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority.

  20. I am just gobsmacked…

    ….£350,000…… for an organisation that has failed in it’s remit.

    Pinching doesn’t help – it just hurts!

    I suppose the good news is – just think what bonus he would have wanted if MAS had succedded so far!

  21. As I see it the job of MAS is to educate the masses so that they make better decisions about their money so that they are less dependant upon the state and that there are fewer miss buying scandals.

    If they achieve this, it will be worth untold millions to our grandchildren but by anyones ruler this will be a long term project and there will be many outside influences along the way, some good, some bad.

    I agree with Michael’s comment above about rewarding with bonuses when the targets have been achieved (we will assume that he has been set SMART targets & KPI?).

    But I worry that his tenure over the job will be far too short to achieve any lasting results. What would be his incentive?

    As is the case for those who have gone before him, he probably has a watertight contract that means (we) would need to pay him off even if he wasn’t performing.

    His salary is funded from the financial services industry but we in turn must cover our costs and a salary for ourselves so we pass it on to our clients. Our clients are unlikely to be the ones the MAS is targetting as they already see the value of getting assistance to make good decisions abouT their money. So the richer more educated are paying for the less well educated poorer people (no change there then).

    I am OK with big salaries as long as the recipient is being measured and monitored to deliver sustainable results of the scale commensurate with the pay. But how will we know? It is a good sign that he has been questioned by the MP but what will Parliament do with the answer? We need to know if they accept his response & if there will be further action. Perhaps Steve Tolley can enlighten us?

  22. This is simply appalling but oh so typical of the government bodies regulating this industry.
    We can all get upset by the costs that we have to bear and that we pass on to our clients.
    More importantly, what can we realistically do about it?
    Do we all care enough to get off our backsides and try to change things. Because if we don’t then those that can get away with this will continue to milk the public purse or in this case our purse and those of our clients.

  23. Can`t have a go at the bloke, it`s the game they all play, reality does not apply at this level. I cannot see any way out of this financial spiralling of wages for Quango`s. They have us by the throat and will not let go until we expire. Then they will look elswhere. It`s Darwinism but not as we know it Jim!

  24. “FSA is the only real enemy we have. Remove FSA from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork ‘and failure’ is abolished forever”
    ………….but some are more equal than others!

  25. Tell you what I’ll do the job for half the pay and probably do a better job as at the moment I believe that this whole service is working against the industry rather than with it.

    Yet another quango set up to destroy IFA’s particularly now there are moving towards some sort of advice service rather than just information.

  26. The issue here is the Government doesn’t fund this QUANGO (read MAS or FSA) the industry does. If the Government was bankrolling these ventures they’d have been culled a while ago.

  27. When I think how hard I work to earn a crust, this is a criminal waste of industry money. More money than the Prime Minister.

    If I had a sandwich nearby, I’d be choking on it.

  28. I WANNA PUKE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. You should all be lobbying your professional bodies to in turn lobby the FSA – this is disgraceful.

    There are IFAs struggling out there who are being made to pay for this service. This is outrageous.

    However wasn’t it the chariman of the AIFA who climbed straight into bed with the MAS by making postive comments about it? Sack them off.

  30. Snouts and troughs
    Snouts and troughs
    Snouts and troughs
    Snouts and troughs
    Snouts and troughs

    My summary of the people at the top of anything to do with regulation and the so called services they provide.

  31. There are 21,954 advisers in the UK .( FSA research paper 6/12/11)- contributing to the MAS fee. The total MAS fee per adviser is £43.13 pa for current year (fsa fee calculator). Of this £15.94 therefore goes to CEO salary.

  32. I wonder what they’re doing with the old rope …….

  33. And he can say what he likes, he is not even liable for any “advice type” information his organisation dishes out.

  34. I notice on the sign behind him it says “Here to help you” it should read “Here to help yourself”

    His basic is £250k plus benefits, like child care tax credits

    Bloody disgrace, how easy to spend other peoples money, there is no way he can justify that salary, and I suppose final salary pension scheme

  35. I note this comment “I believe we have been tasked with something, which if as we intend, we get right will make a hugely significant difference to millions of people’s lives.”

    Okay, so what happens if it does not go as intended? Will you return some of the money?

    Why not structure the pay according to results? That’s the way most of us earn our crust.

    “Labour MP Adrian Bailey suggested ….” Why didn’t he say what others were actually thinking?

  36. How can these guys justify this level of pay? Clearly excessive!

  37. But the Government does benefit..because of that £250k salary there will be income tax and national insurance. Mind you some tax relief on the £100k of pension etc..
    So you see the government does benefit from Quangos which are a form of indirect taxation anyway.

    The quangocrats set themselves up as ‘chief executives’ and think they should get salaries comensurate with say a FTSE 250 company CEO, and even then the FTSE250’s are going on what a FTSE100 gets, and they get rightly or wrongly £££m’s because they are global companies. CEO of MAS, no more important and should be paid no more than Director of Paperclips in an 80 strong private company.

  38. Why are we finding the rip offs one by one when the governor could ask the HMRC to give the list of all those having more than £100K.?They can exclude the private sector and blue chip company employees!.

  39. Presumabnly, this massive remuneration package was built into the FSA’s prior Cost:Benefit Analysis?

    Oh, I forgot ~ the FSA doesn’t bother with such irksome inconveniences any more. Just tell the IFA sector that this is what we’re going to do, bill them accordingly and if they won’t pay up we’ll just confiscate their livelihoods.

    Whatever happened to democracy? When it comers to regulation, no such thing exists.

  40. Did George Orwell write Animal Farm as a parody on Communism or Capitalism? “Some animals are more equal than others”, they can just make up their own rules to justify it.

  41. This beggars belief. 100k in benefits this is laughable. Who agrees this leve of salary. Are they unaware of the financial turmoil we’re in.

    May be if he’s so confident he’s going to get it right he should be rewarded after a review in 12 months. When he fails he will still walk away with nice bonus and pension and we’ll have been shafted with another white elephant.

  42. Quangocrats are fast becoming the celebrity’s of
    They do not even get the irony that we the regulated must detail and justify every penny we charge clients only to then hand over a huge percentage to keep them sweet.

  43. Perhaps we should have alternative Customer Agreements.. ‘the reason why we have to charge you £250 an hour… is to fund…

    Crazy.. disgraceful…and so out of control…

  44. Please remember that this poor chap has a role in educating the great unwashed about a subject that most of them dont give a damn about – that in itself should justify his salary. And as for his ‘benefits’, again, he will only get a MINIMUM of 12.5% of his salary paid in to a pension fund, up to 25% of salary as bonus, extensive travel expenses (limited to 600 per night for hotel and food, up to 40 days holiday and extensive sick pay benefits (not including 4x DIS).

    So really we should all feel sorry for this individual who earns more than many CEO’s, company directors, etc, who are accountable to boards and shareholders. Never mind the department he runs is non – accountable, has no real cost benefit matrix, is funded by the industry and can manipulate the measurement of its success by recruiting expensive consultants to provide favourable reports.

    Forgive me if I sound sarcastic but, I AM! Irony would be lost on this man but, hey, if I was getting this much cash then I could turn my hide into something quite thick too.

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