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MPs call for urgent review of MAS chief’s £350K pay

MPs are pressing for the Government to urgently raise with the FSA the issue of Money Advice Service chief executive Tony Hobman’s £350,000 salary.

The business, innovation and skills committee questioned Hobman (pictured) about the level of his pay in December as part of an inquiry into debt management.

Hobman receives a salary of £250,000 per annum, with the remainder of his pay made up in benefits.

When questioned by the committee about whether the size of his salary was appropriate for the head of a relatively small organisation, Hobman replied that his pay would make him “hugely incentivised” to do the job.

The BIS committee published its report into debt management earlier this week.

The report says: “We are concerned by the high salary of the chief executive of the MAS. At a time of pay restraint we do not believe that the head of a comparatively small organisation should receive a salary £100,000 in excess of the Prime Minister.

“We look to the Government to raise this with the FSA as a priority. The perception of such extravagance does not sit easily in an organisation tasked with helping those in debt.”

The MAS is taking on responsibility for delivering debt advice, taking its total budget from £43.7m in 2011/12 to £86.8m for 2012/13.

It will effectively run two budgets as of April this year. The budget for delivering money advice will be £46.3m while £40.5m will go towards debt advice.

The MAS is funded by a statutory industry levy.


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There are 25 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. At last, maybe this idiot will be brought to account! Sants next!

  2. I’ll do it for £ 100,000 and no perks, I have 20 years industry experience and I guarantee I have met more of MAS’s target audience than Mr Hobnob ever will.

  3. Disgrace and MAS is a joke in any event.

    What a way to spend our money. But it is not his fault it is the fault of the muppets who hired him..

  4. I’ll save you the trouble of a review.

    It’s bl00dy outrageous!

    No wonder he’s smiling so much in his picture.

  5. Well such incentivisation has not exactly delivered results. No wonder the guy is grinning like a Cheshire cat, given the MAS track record anything over about £75,000 looks excessive

  6. Not far enough i’m afraid !!

    They need to be reviewing MAS as a whole, the whole lot is a waste of money.

  7. I wonder what his pension is?
    It would be interesting to see what he has given himself to incentivise working towards an early retirement?
    How about tomorrow?
    Couldn’t be soon enough.
    Bloody cheek saying he needs this much to be incentivised.
    A swift kick in the rear should do the job-its all he deserves.
    I wonder how long before we see more of these free loaders highlighted.
    Mr Crow,where are you hiding?

  8. He looks as happy as Fred Goodwin used to look….

    The article says is salary is £350k, and then £250k; whichever one it is, it’s amazing how much you can earn from FREE advice.

    Anyway, you don’t need to be incentivised on a SALARY do you?.

    I wonder how much the top dog at the CAB gets?

    Look, it’s just jobs for the boys, obviously. Either that or he’s in the same lodge as Hector.

  9. If he needs incentivising pay two thirds of his salary based on the results at the end of his contract.
    If he does not like it let him go. Don’t worry, like buses, there will be another one along in a minute.

  10. Another matter that brings out anger in people who work hard for a modest salary. It is in the same space as the inflated salary levels within the corporate Financial Services sector.

    We really need some strong political leadership that can put a structure in place that will re-calibrate salary levels from where they had reached pre 2008.

    Glasgow Rangers top players took a 75% wage cut to keep their jobs today..would this man (and many others) walk away if his salary was halved. I don’t
    think so.

  11. Dominic Thomas 9th March 2012 at 5:15 pm

    why not consider using MAS for clients that you cannot afford to help… Which presumably will be many of them from January? Why cant you see this as a resource rather than competition? as for his salary, admittedly MAS could probably hire 5 or perhaps 10 people to do the same job, but thats why his salary and performance are reviewed. Envy is not an attractive trait. I imagine that few of you would turn this guy away as a client.

  12. Bearing in mind they are not actually helping anyone (based on response to the questionairre from people who have used the service), not only is his salary outrageous but the whole of MAS is an expensive folly. Let IFAs do their jobs unhindered, giving unbiased, face to face personal advice to their appreciated clients. Regulation has been aimed at the wrong group who at worst could have cost clients millions in bad advice. The miss regulation of banks has cost us BILLIONS! Sack Sants, the FSA, FOS, & MAS, strip them all of their bonuses, pensions & prevent them from being involved in financial services & regulation for the rest of their lives. They have failed on a National & Global scale costlin billions, preventing ordinary people from planning for their future and causing unemployment misery for 100’s of thousands for years to come.

  13. i see that this job goes with the saying how long is a piece of string, in case a long way.

    Peterk just in case i am offering to do this job for just 50k, let see if we can get it right down to what it is really worth; a basic civil servant on a basic civil servant’s pay.

  14. So this is how it works then in the post RDR world.

    I give people advice and hugely incentivise myself with a big salary, but the industry pays it, not the public…This all smacks of hypocrisy to me..Isn’t this just what RDR is supposedly putting a stop to?

  15. Public sector salaries for the higher grades are simply out of control. The argument that they need to be paid ‘to get the best people’ simply doesn’t wash as has the lack of success compared to outlay has been demonstrated many times.

    There was a time when public service was a vocation and although salaries were lower, a well funded retirement was an acceptable part of the package. Nowadays Quangos such as these are simply money-go-round schemes and frankly it stinks.

    This man, whoever he is and from whence he came, should be ashamed to say that the salary motivates him, why isn’t he motivated by the role if he feels it is so important and is passionate about it. The answer I suppose him is that the cool quarter of a million is actually all that motivates him!

    Incidently I don’t see MAS as a competitor as it doesn’t compete with me. It competes with the CAB from whom it is taking funding and provides an information service at best that a FAQ website could provide. Poor value all round I think!

  16. His likes are the very leaches on the body of the financial services sector

  17. Well done BIS Committee.

    BUT – the package paid to this self satisfied twerp is small beer compared to the widespread excess and inflated salaries paid to heaven knows how many senior staff at the Regulator, with a number of people paid not just more that the PM, but in some cases, packages worth several times what we pay the leader of the nation.

    How the hell can that be right?

    By the way, somebody pointed out to me that there now appears to be a new organisation known as the Free Syrian Army, or as we must now call it, the FSA!

    Should the two organisations now be merged?

    Votes in a sealed envelope please to Canary Wharf.

  18. It is clearly ridiculous this fellow is earning more than the PM and the effectiveness of MAS is questionable. If he is be be incentivised then pay him a realistic salary and give him a bonus linked to results. A huge basic salary for, effectively, a government employee is not acceptable and provides too much security to incentivise performance.

  19. His salary incentivises him to do a job. Sorry, I thought you should be incentivesed anyway because that is why you take the .job. There are millions of people who get incentivised for doing their job and that is actually keeping it otherwise they go down the road. These people live in another unioverse.

  20. WOW! I could not agree more with the comments of Anonymous, written above. The FSA, MAS, FOS, PIA, LAUTRO, FIMBRA etc, etc have all been a complete waste of money and have done nothing to help the consumer receive better advice.

    As for Dominic Thomas’s comments. I have actually suggested that 3 clients contact the MAS for debt advice. Each client was given the same advice, “declare yourself bankrupt”. In each of the 3 cases the debts of the clients were eventually resolved without any of them going bankrupt. It takes a real “expert” as employed by the MAS to answer the phone, tell the caller to “go bankrupt” and then put down phone.

    The MAS is just as big a waste of money as the FSA. Hobman is just one more fat cat receiving a massive wage, huge pension and doing nothing to justify either; just like, Sants, Cole etc, etc, etc. The sad thing is that we are the ones paying for them.

  21. Pigs at the Trough, and so the story goes on….!!!

  22. It’s all very well for Hobman to claim that his huge salary will incentivise him hugely to do his job well but what’s the other side of the coin if he fails? There isn’t one ~ he just gets to keep everything, like all his colleagues at the FSA who get hugely rewarded for success and equally hugely compensated for failure (as was Clive Briault).

    It’s not the whole financial services industry that’s rotten to the core. Rather, it’s the banks and the regulator that are rotten to the core, because they all have too much power and too much of other peoples’ money with which to wield it. And the FSA has the massive bonus of not even being accountable to anyone for anything it does. If that isn’t a surefire recipe for abuse of power, then I don’t know what is.

  23. Now come on, fair do’s. Surely he deserves such a high salary, after all, his job is to educate and motivate millions of the consumers who will be disadvantaged by the FSA’s RDR implementation and who wil have nowhere to go for cost effective financial advice and of course as the MAS is a “free” service it will be a boon to the nations economy. (you can LOL if you wish, but this is the new world according to Sants & Co, those super efficient underpaid, undervalued executives at the FSA who do such a wonderful job for so little reward. (again LOL if you wish)

  24. Is this the same Tony Hobman that oversaw the collapse of Money Channel PLC that left many private investors either in debt or bancrupt – he probably brings his own ‘client bank’ to the job.

  25. I work for this service, and am not really sure what this guy actually does? Plays golf most of the week.

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