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Up to half of Money Advice Service staff to lose their jobs

The Money Advice Service has put up to half of its staff on consultation after a review of its products, services and delivery channels.

A MAS spokeswoman says staff were informed yesterday of “organisational changes” that will be implemented as a result of the review.

She refused to comment further on the changes or disclose how many of the 150 staff are affected, but one staff member told Money Marketing that half of all staff have been put on consultation.

The MAS was launched in April and is funded by a statutory industry levy. It has a budget of £43.7m for 2011/12, which includes £13.5m for staff costs.

The service has spent over £2m on the delivery of its online healthcheck and a further £4m on an advertising campaign that claimed the MAS offers free, independent advice.

In July, Money Marketing revealed the Advertising Standards Authority had launched a formal investigation into the ad after it received 80 complaints, mainly from IFAs. In September, the ASA rejected the complaints.

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Comments

There are 32 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. This isnt the cure for which there is no disease is it?

  2. What a waste of money and I bet they will not offer just the Statutory levels of redundancy pay…..

    Huge Expense – Employing everyone

    followed by a Huge Expense to get rid of a large number.

    Surely, someone in MAS has a sufficent level of general intelligence to work out staff levels before spendng our money?

  3. feel sorry for the staff but what a waste of money

  4. What a wasted opportunity and tradgedy for those staff who are losing their jobs. It could have been an opportunity to publicise the IFA industry and explain the difference between sellers and IFA’s. Another waste of fees.

  5. How can you get your staffing levels so wrong in such a short period of time?

    Does this mean they’ve already spent the entire £13.5m budget for staff costs?

    Looking forward to hearing more…….

  6. Hmmmmmm? £13,500,000 staff costs divided by 150 staff comes to…..? Fantastic Value for us IFA`s eh?

  7. Interesting given the fact that 50% of IFAs and their staff will probably end up at the Job Centre too. It appears that the MAS must have mistakenly given their management and strategy responsibilities to passing group of chimpanzees. All rather unfortunate as many advisers refer clients to MAS for simple queries.

  8. That’s sad – we all knew that MAS would struggle to achieve it’s lofty aims and I suspect few amongst us would be sorry if it were to sink, ignominiously, forever – but these are still human beings with mortgages and families. I wish them a speedy journey to new positions

  9. Whilst I feel sorry for the staff involved I do think that the powers that be should work in consultation with the industry rather than against us.

    A good, cost effective MAS could benefit us all.

    Unfortunately, what they chose to do was set up something that promoted itself in a very devious way that undermined those of us that pay their bills. As always its the staff that pay the price.

  10. …just stick the wasted money on top of the FSCS levy, like you do everything else!!!

  11. 90k per staff,, I’ll do it for less,, oh I am 🙁

  12. Another expensive cock-up.

    The problem is that the message to consumers was wrong.

    On one hand the Financially Shambolic Authority are asking us (and rightly so in this instance) for us to make it clear between the cost of the product and the cost of the advice.

    As we IFAs have all been doing a sterling job (those still in business of course) the general public is aware that ADVICE must be paid for.

    So, some idiot decides to muddy the waters on client understanding by calling it the Money ADVICE Service…which is free!.

    It shouldn’t have been introduced at all, but as it was, it should have been the Money GUIDANCE Service.

    To be honest, I’m not sure it would have made much of a difference, but I’m sure a few penpushers made a few bob out of it along the way.

  13. £45,000 – was just thinking the same Mr Jeego..

  14. Perhaps the MAS has just realised that the levy income is highly volatile and accept that post RDR their income will fall like a stone as the businesses that fiance them suffer similar drastic income reductions.
    Maybe the FSA will also learn that just because they have a budget, they dont have to spend up to the budget limit, and should now be comtemplating a huge cut back in costs.
    When the FSA state their aim is to “protect London” WHY??? Get the hell out and relocate to cheaper premises. Save us all a shed load of money.

  15. Doesn’t this prove a point?
    MAS can’t make their advice system work when it’s free at point of use—and the FSA have got the nerve to say that it’s not a problem for IFAs charging fees!

  16. This shows that people don’t want advice. IFAs have to show that people need advice and this can only be done by discussing financial products with them, and this can only be done by “selling” financial products, and when we are “selling” financial products we are working for the product providers and we want payment from them for doing their job, for helping them to make a profit. We call it commission. Just call it something else. Let’s turn it round. IFAs charge product providers fees for marketing and distributing their stuff. Our income is from trwo sources. Clients pay us for advice. Product providers pay us for marketing and distributing. This is how it works and it won’t work any other way. Get rid of commission and advice goes too.

  17. Spot On Ken Durkin! Are product providers and the rest of the industry so naive as to believe that they can procure business without paying for it?

    It is refreshing that someone has pointed this out, as I do not know of a medium whereby a provider of any product, in any market, does not pay distribution costs. if remuneration cannot come from the product itself, then it is up to the product provider to dream up an alternative method of procuring business, not for the advisory sector to find a solution and to sustain its new business levels!

  18. Such a waste of time and money not to mention the damage this has done to the IFA industry. I feel very sorry for the staff who have now lost their jobs during a very difficult period. Some of these people will have no doubt left secure jobs to join the MAS. When will the FSA stop trying to make enemies and focus on supporting our industry and bring the regulator, providers and intermediaries together. It really is unbelievable and can someone at the top please take responsibility and resign!!

  19. £13.5m for staff costs. £90k average a piece! The gravy train really is worth it.

    Personally I fail to see anything useful coming out of this socio experiment.

  20. I don’t want to sound cruel, but that will see a substantial reduction (eventually after termination payments) in the amount of money wasted on this service out of OUR fees, so that the FSA can find another pointless method of continuing to waste our fees that WE have to actually earn by generating PROFITS so that they can continue in their lucrative well paid jobs.

    My personal view – good riddance the concept was flawed and I think that all advice in future should be via an INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVICE route, all this direct sales rubbish needs to be put to bed.

    And NO! I don’t feel sorry for any of them, it’s bad enough that experienced and long serving older end IFAs are being forced to re-qualify for their jobs with these new exams or be forced out of business if they do not bend the knee to this flawed and fundamentally incompetant regulator, without shedding any tears for the pen pushing time wasters we have all funded for years. The levels of stress I personally feel now and that a lot of my older end colleagues are equally suffering, is far in excess of what is right and proper.
    No lawyer, doctor, nurse or accountant would tolerate what the FSA is doing to the IFA sector.

    With the lowest percentage of complaints and the lowest percentage upheld, what sense is there in ruining the IFA sector with such draconian changes as the RDR is bringing into being.

    NONE!
    These unqualified quasi judicial organisations such as the FSA, FOS, FSCS, peopled by persons who have not even passed the basic FPC to show they are knowledgeable about what they are making us do and have an understanding of what it takes to make this industry tick and prosper need to be put on the dole queue as soon as possible and make them sweep the streets, now that is something useful !

    Angry? Damn right I am!

    I just wish we actually had some collective clout, but as we are nearly all self employed or directors running their own businesses, no one gives a toss whether we survive or not.

    I doubt if MM will even print this as it contains an expletive or two, but I have insufficien command of my own language to put things any more succinctly.

    And don’t even mention Xmas!

    Baaaahhhh Humbug ! (Lol)

  21. Gerald Lambourne 4th November 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Does that mean the industry will get a rebate for the £6,750,000 they will save next year? I suspect not.

    I am sorry that 75 people will potentially lose their jobs but that has to be compared with the thousands of IFA’s and their employees who have lost their jobs over the past four years thanks to the Banks, the Government and the endless cost of regulation.

  22. They are up to something.
    Their union reports in another publication that MAS will only target middle income audience.
    They are after the typicaI IFA consumer. Why?
    Something is not right and going by the regulators normal OM, it will not be favourable.

  23. Glad to see it all go what an absolute waste of time and money. Plenty of generalistic advice is already available on the web.

    The government will eventually end up the distributor of cheap products because IFAs are in business to make a profit and they don’t want us to. They want advice and products sold at no cost to the public.

    When they realise that the bottom end of the market is not getting any advice they will end up as distributor or change the rules yet again.

    Thankfully by the time the next change comes around I will be out of it all!

  24. Average staff salaries of £90k p.a.?? And for what? Despite the name, they don’t actually give any advice, do they? Guidance perhaps, but not advice.

    Anyone know of any IFAs able to take on new staff to give guidance at these rates?

    As Victor Meldrew would have said, I don’t……..!

  25. A bit of belt tightening

    Welcome to the real world

    When abody gets too bloated, you sometimes need a gastric band.

  26. Typically they contine to prove at the FSA they thought peolpe would clammer to their door because the advice was subsidised by IFA’s….I mean free !!
    When will they ever learn people dont buy finacial products because they are cheap!!
    When will they learn that clients want advice and service and not just cheap products.
    They will never get it and will never be able to do what IFA’s do.
    I do agree they want IFA’s out of business so they can say dont worry the FSA are here to advise you now.

  27. Another perfect example that the FSA can’t manage anything let alone a service offering financial advice.

  28. Maybe they should stay employed working for nothing? After all recent comment of Don’t see Why IFA’s Can’t offer free advice must be good for all advice channels?!!!!
    Do feel sorry for those who will loose their jobs.

  29. If you have worked for the MAS and are happy to take a MASSIVE pay cut and come down to the lovely seaside, I might have a job for you…..

  30. I have experienced a meeting through a company called A4e and the advisor was more interested in getting me in to fill a form in so she could reach her target and the company could get paid from MAS

  31. Anon @ 1:46
    How can they target a specific audience? It seems wrong to me that a body funded by IFA’s should “target” any section of society.

    The money to fund the MAS would be much better spent on a national advertising campaign promoting the virtues of advice and pointing out that independent or restricted advisers are available etc etc.

    I feel sorry for the staff as i have been made redundant in the past and it isn’t very nice but i will be hoping that this is only the first of the last death throws of the MAS.

    The regulator missed the opportunity to spend money on a genuinly informative national advertising campaign and instead blew it on a terrible idea that ultimately has cost people their jobs.

    Just my humble opinion as always.

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