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Treasury, FSA and MAS pass the buck on Hobman pay row

The Government, the FSA and the Money Advice Service have each refused to take responsibility for MAS chief executive Tony Hobman’s £350,000 salary package.

Last week, MPs from the business, innovation and skills committee called on the Government to urgently raise the issue of Hobman’s salary with the FSA. Hobman gets a base salary of £250,000 a year, with the remainder made up in benefits.

The committee quizzed Hobman about whether his salary was appropriate as part of an inquiry into debt management in December. Hobman told MPs his pay would make him “hugely incentivised” to do the job.

In its report into debt management, published last week, the BIS committee 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 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 Treasury declined to comment, saying the FSA is responsible as it appoints the MAS board. The MAS agreed, saying the FSA set up the board and its pay structures.

The FSA says while it was responsible initially for establishing the MAS board and pay structures, responsibility now falls to the MAS board because it is responsible for reviewing salary packages on an annual basis.

The MAS declined to comment further.

Clearwater Financial Planning managing director Duncan Carter says: “Hobman ought to be motivated by the role and not motivated by the money.”


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There are 17 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. No-one has any sense of responsibility any more!

  2. Strange then that the RDR mistake is predicated on the terrible consequences of me and others being motivated by commission

  3. Becoming a headcase IFA 15th March 2012 at 9:03 am

    I was just laughing at the poll, above. At present it shows that 15% of those that have voted are already headcases, as they don’t think Hobman’s salary should be reviewed. How weird is that?

  4. How can anyone take this pack of cronies seriously? It’s a personal insult to everyone paying taxes and is an act of contempt!

  5. Everyone is accountable to someone…….. except the FSA!

  6. So the MAS says Not us guv, the FSA determined Hobman’s remuneration package. The FSA says Not us guv, the MAS is responsible for salary reviews, so ask them. Both of them may just as well say No comment and there’s nothing any of you lot can do about it.

    And Hoban has claimed that the regulator is “quite accountable”, which is nothing but a bare-faced lie, and certainly not a claim that the TSC or anyone else accepts as remotely credible.

    Meanwhile, the government has declared that the FCA, like the FSA before it, will be accountable only to its own board, which means accountable to nobody, so what can anyone do?

  7. Par for the course.
    The FSA wants everyone to take responsibility whilst they remain unaccountable.
    While Hobmans salary is under review, the same ought to be done with regards to the FSA FSCS & FOS. These organisations force us to pay towards salaries most of us can only dream about.

  8. Still, Hobman is one person whose debt issues will not need addressing.

    Only a few tens of millions of people to go then….

  9. really concerned person 15th March 2012 at 10:16 am

    i think all this bullying should stop right away! poor mr nobman he should take six months off due to all the stress this must be causing him, on full pay. Then he should sue eveyone for ‘loss of motivation’ and slander for being accused of being financially motivated.

    And all you EVIL IFA’s should pay ! I hope the FSA come and check all your fact finds from 15 years ago for accuracy.

  10. You couldnt make this stuff up could you. The F pack and MAS, along with their over paid none qualified A4E FINANCIAL ADVISORS, used for face to face, free none advice (advice) to (not advice) on debt, pensions savings life assurance and all forms of Investment.
    Time to bring real accountability back into the British way of life.

  11. Snouts in troughs.

    A veritable army of people earning big bucks thanks to regulation, Treasury officials, regulators, compliance bods, FOS, FSCS, review after review and now MAS….

    How does all this benefit the poor souls who have lost their shirts?

  12. Mark H (Not Hoban!) 15th March 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Absolutely sick to death of this industry. Been in it since 1980 and running my own firm but am in the process of selling and retiring. The double standards that IFA’s have to put up with is disgusting, yes disgusting. We will watch what you charge your clients to make sure its ‘fair’ and at the same time we’ll pay ourselves outrageous salaries ……. oh and we’ll charge you all for it too! Another so called ‘adhoc’ levy coming up as well. What a total basket case this industry of ours has become. All the very best to all my old friends who are continuing post RDR, I wish you all much luck as I’m not sure how many of you will be able to plan and pay all your dues and keep afloat!

  13. Its all about being stupid!
    Tony Blair-stupid
    Gordon Brown-stupid
    You and me-stupid!!
    So what will we do about it?

    SFA- this is the name of the new Financial Services Authority!! and fits the situation very well.
    I challenge anyone to do something about it!
    No takers-thought so!!

  14. In the (almost) 40 years I have been in the industry first in the building sopciety movement, then as a tied agent for a short while and currently as an IFA, I don’t think I have ever come across such a bunch of spineless people (and I use the term loosely) and corporate hypocrisy in all my life.

    I’m very grateful that I will be retiring in a couple of months, even though the thought of funding it is rather daunting. I wish all those remaining the best of luck !

  15. Left hand Not knowing what the Right hand should be doing ???

    Get rid of MAS as even they say they have failed to make any changes in the way people think about their finances.

  16. Why should anyone be surprised at this. The Teflon Executive, the Teflon Minister and the Teflon Government Agency have been with us for years.
    Passing the parcel is one of the first skills learnt in Government and here we have it on display again.
    Temperate expectations is the Governments cry – for you, not for us. We live in a moral desert and the only way to get change is to request that the desert rats change the fundamental rules of accountability. Fat chance.
    One is almost moved to propose that the industry emulate the Tube Drivers threat of industrial action during the Olympics. But the Establishment is now so comfortable behind its barricade of infallibility it would not even understand the nature of the protest.

  17. I like the part where Hobman stated that his pay would make him ‘hugely incentivised to do the job’; isn’t that what high commission payments also acheive? Yes please! Pay me more to incentivise myself! Isn’t that what the bonus culture is all about? And if he or his department gets it wrong or make mistakes should he pay some of his earnings back? Dare I say as ‘an industry levy’?
    You have really got the laugh

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