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MPs: MAS ‘doesn’t know what it’s doing on money advice’

Caroline Rookes
Caroline Rookes: At the Treasury select committee

The Treasury select committee has attacked the Money Advice Service for not being clear about its objectives and spending, claiming it “does not know what it is doing” in regards to delivering financial advice. 

MAS chief executive Caroline Rookes faced criticism over the 2013/14 business plan at a TSC sub-committee inquiry into MAS last week.

TSC sub-committee chair George Mudie said: “Your business plan says out of a £46.5m budget you only spend £8.8m on service delivery. That is the underlying unease we have about the flowery language in this report. We do not know what the hell you are doing with it.

“If you cannot find ways of delivering a service on money advice and you have to spend it on marketing, transition costs and core operations, it leads us to believe that your organisation doesn’t know what it is doing on money advice.”

Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie said the business plan is “meaningless” and there is “considerable unease” about how money is being spent.

Rookes, who took over the top job in January, said: “I know there was a lot of concern about the MAS and what it was not doing. I think it has a good business plan and we published results for the MAS performance last year and it was good. It is an organisation that is performing well. There is a long way to go but it is going in the right direction.”

Hudson & Green Associates director Ian Hudson says: “MAS is a waste of money and over-hypes what it can do through its television adverts. It cannot tell people where to invest their money, you need proper advice for that.”

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Julian Stevens 28th June 2013 at 8:22 pm

    The only Benefit:Cost Analysis that counts is how many people who consult the MAS actually set in place and then stick with a coherent long term plan for protection and savings and on that we hear nothing. All the rest is just flannel.

  2. Even allowing for the fact that the MAS is a public service body funded by coercion with OPM, one wonders just what the guys on Dragon’s Den would make of the MAS’s “business plan”.

    A few of those same guys on the Independent Regulatory Oversight Committee that the industry so desperately needs probably wouldn’t go amiss.

    It’s all very well for the TSC to ask a few penetrating questions and make a few disapproving noises in response to the unconvincing answers it receives but, when all is said and done, it crucially lacks the unassailable authority to say: This is wrong and you aren’t going to do it.

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