With HM Treasury looking to dismantle the service, the Money Advice Service (MAS) has made the move to pull its planned marketing budget, effective immediately. Although timescales are still unknown, this move has made it clear that MAS considers itself defunct.
George Osborne’s Plans
The chancellor, George Osborne, announced many sweeping new plans in his 2016 budget, and this includes the intention to discontinue the use of the MAS. A new advisory body will provide its current services.
This decision was made after a wide-reaching independent review by Christine Farnish, former chief executive of the National Association of Pension Funds, in which the service was given instructions to reduce its costs. The review called for dramatic cuts, and the MAS answered by publishing a new budget proposal of £75.1 million for the 2016 to 2017 period. This represents a £6 million cut in costs from the previous year and includes the entire marketing budget along with some frontline services.
What The End of the MAS Means To Consumers
Although a new service is planned, it has not yet been rolled out or implemented. This means the MAS will continue to be the assumed go-to service for answers on bad credit car finance in Southampton but will be available to far fewer users.
The MAS will stop offering the expected one-on-one finance guidance consultation that it has always provided, but it will still give debt advice. Consumers who feel they are stuck between a rock and a hard place will need to turn to providers such as bad credit car finance Southampton company rightdrive for car financing advice.
A Gap in Financial Advice Provisions
With zero marketing, knock-on effects will include consumers being unaware of how to contact MAS and first-time users possibility being oblivious to its presence. At the peak of its operations, the MAS offered guidance to 26 million people a year. This number is expected to fall to 15 million in the service’s final 12 calendar months.
However, as part of its obligations to the Treasury’s decisions, the MAS will still need to work with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to set up the new UK-wide financial guidance service. This may include offering transitional services or knowledge transfer programs, but at the time of writing, this was still unclear.