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Money Advice Service healthcheck set for overhaul

Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service has admitted its £2m online healthcheck tool “needs improvement” and has revealed plans for an overhaul.

In March, Money Marketing revealed MAS research showed of 1,000 healthcheck users, 300 did not remember doing it and an additional 371 failed to do anything differently.

MAS is currently the subject of a Treasury sub-committee inquiry. In June, founder Martin Lewis branded its tools “crap” and “embarrassing”.

In a letter to Treasury sub-committee chair and Labour MP George Mudie, published today, MAS chairman Gerard Lemos highlights Money Marketing’s coverage and adds: “It is clear that overall the results of research done so far have pointed to the need for us to improve the health check.

“Building on this consumer insight, we will build a ‘mark II’ healthcheck which we expect to be far more impactful.”

A MAS spokesman refuses to disclose how much the redesign will cost, but insists it has already been factored into the 2012/13 budget.

Clayden Associates director Daniel Clayden says: “It is concerning as there was a large amount of money spent so the healthcheck tool should have been thoroughly tested. Hopefully it will learn from its mistakes.”

In the letter, Lemos reminded Mudie that the MAS began withdrawing previous remuneration arrangements for new staff on January 1. Existing staff began transferring to the new arrangements on June 1 but will be compensated for any lost income unless they leave or move position within the organisation. All directors are in the process of moving.

The new arrangements will be based around MAS’ reward strategy, developed in 2011, focusing on delivery of its objectives, the ability to recuit high calibre staff and affordability and value for money. It includes the withdrawal of flexible benefits package and non-contributory pension scheme.

Lemos says management recognised that staff transferred from the FSA were on unsuitable and unsustainable wages for a smaller, “more commercially-orientated” organisation.

This week MAS launched a six-week marketing campaign across television, in print and online with the tagline, “What does Ma think?”.


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There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. ken170647 youtube 11th September 2012 at 6:00 pm

    It’s going to need a lot of money to compensate for the elimination of the IFA sector…

  2. Ma says “Close this 3 ringed circus down”
    “Hopefully it will learn from its mistakes” what a blasé statement to make when talking about spending ( I mean wasting) our money. Im Lost for words!!

  3. Won’t people be disappointed when they actually contact the MAS. These will be real people with real problems and requirements who are looking for direct and positive answers from a face to face situation – not from a computer screen and certainly not a generic hand off – which they won’t understand anyway. I thought that’s why we had to gain higher qualifications.

    Moreover the adverts give out precisely the wrong message that the RDR was formulated to correct – advice is NOT free. It never has been and never will be.

  4. Is there no end to this madness ?
    FSA MAS & FSCS costs represent 32 to 35% of my gross monthly income, now I find I find only one company will offer PI terms at an 80% increase in premium and I am a clean company with no baggage, I have gone way past the angry stage

  5. Lemos says management recognised that staff transferred from the FSA were on unsuitable and unsustainable wages for a smaller, “more commercially-orientated” organisation. So is Lemos saying that the FSA is a money wasting , ineffective, leviathan paying wages and benefits to people in excess of their worth?

  6. In the context of “free” advice given by a Government quango, what on earth does “more commercially orientated” mean? Where does commerciality come into it?

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