Treasury admits MAS branding ‘misleading’ as service is scrapped

Money Advice Service

The Government has admitted that the Money Advice Service brand is “misleading” to consumers because it does not offer regulated advice.

Under proposals now under consultation, MAS will be closed, with its pension guidance remit going to a new provider, while a second body with a responsibility for money guidance will also be launched.

In documents released today, the Treasury said: “The name ‘Money Advice Service’ has always been misleading as MAS cannot provide regulated advice.

“It will be more important than ever to have names which do not confuse consumers when the Financial Advice Market Review has completed a consultation on appropriate terms for advice so the ‘Money Advice Service’ brand will be dissolved after the new delivery model has been implemented.”

Wingate Financial Planning director Alistair Cunningham says: “Advice is highly regulated so for a government body to be masquerading as providing advice, when it reality it provides simplified guidance is at best misleading, and quite probably destructive.”

Under the plans, MAS’s successor will not feature a limited corporate website with minimal efforts made to establish a public brand.

Instead the money guidance body will have an explicit remit to serve as an “invisible commissioner” of guidance.