Outgoing MAS chief: I’ve turned us around

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Outgoing Money Advice Service chief executive Caroline Rookes has credited her tenure with turning the embattled agency around, despite having to fend off constant criticism from Government and advisers.

Rookes announced yesterday she will retire from her post in April 2017. She had initially intended to retire in February this year, but wanted to stay to help steer the government’s discussions over the future of the public guidance services.

Asked what her legacy at MAS will be, Rookes tells Money Marketing: “I think I have turned the Money Advice Service around. When I first started it was a pretty unhappy organisation that was being criticised by all sides.”

“Now we are an organisation that has a strong vision, I have a strong team in place and we are providing extensive services to help the public. As a result of all that, most of our detractors are now supporters, which we have seen with the Government announcement of the move to a single organisation.”

“We have lost the headlines that Money Advice Service is being scrapped and we have got much more positive support for ensuring that all of the good things in MAS are preserved and carried forward into the new organisation.”

However, she says throughout her tenure MAS has been under constant scrutiny, including from the Treasury Select Committee and through an independent report.

She says: “The whole time the organisation has been suffering from uncertainty about its future; constant speculation about the future, constant uncertainty which makes life challenging in terms of running an organisation, ensuring that staff morale remains high and that we deliver what we say we are going to deliver.”

MAS has not yet started looking for Rookes’ successor.

The Government said last month it plans to merge MAS, The Pension Advisory Service and Pension Wise into one organisation.

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Comments

There are 12 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. “I’ve turned us around” ~ Yes, from one wrong direction to another.

  2. “…ensuring that staff morale remains high…”

    I’d question the accuracy of this statement.

  3. This self-delusion is breath-taking at times.
    She says: “The whole time the organisation has been suffering from uncertainty about its future; constant speculation about the future, constant uncertainty which makes life challenging in terms of running an organisation, ensuring that staff morale remains high and that we deliver what we say we are going to deliver.”

    Welcome to the wonderful world of financial services my dear. What do you think the rest of us have been putting up with for the last 20 years?

    Turned the MAS around? I don’t think so.

  4. If you are going nowhere and you turn around you are still going nowhere.

    If fellow quangocrat Mick-Mack is the lone voice in support of her reign it says a lot.

  5. Don’t you you men you’ve turned us over.

  6. Don’t you mean you’ve turned us over

  7. I guess she is a person at the end of the day, so one should not criticise her for her job performance or her Public Relations abilities as to do so might cause offence or hurt to her. However, I could not compliment her in either of those areas without lying.

  8. I’m afraid the concept though probably well meaning, was an expensive flop from outset and still is. It never provided advice, its’ stat’s did not bear scrutiny and funding was cynically disguised. Is it any wonder it was criticised.

    As for Ms Rookes claims, what exactly has been turned around? I’d like a refund please.

  9. And I have been the greatest thing to ever happen to financial services. Great isn’t it when you can blow your own trumpet – even if what you are saying is so evidently nonsense.

  10. This is the individual who claimed that IFAs were unethical, and that will be her epitaph.

  11. Completely Delusional

  12. To be fair, she did oversee the gathering and collation of ever more enormous mountains of data which it was handy to be able to quote in the face of criticism. The trouble, of course, is that nothing much was actually done with it, such as following up customer engagements 6 or 12 months down the line to ascertain whether or not they’d actually stuck with and benefited from whatever plan of action had been agreed.

    So in just what way Ms. Rookes can claim to have turned the MAS around (we assume, of course, that she means in a positive way) when she has no idea just what long term, tangible benefits its customers have wrought is somewhat open to question. For all she knows, virtually all of them may well have just ditched their economic management plan after a few months and are now just as deeply in financial difficulty as they ever were.

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