Today (March 16th), Chancellor George Osborne has announced the latest Budget, which includes the closure of the Money Advice Service (MAS). The MAS h…
Today (March 16th), Chancellor George Osborne has announced the latest Budget, which includes the closure of the Money Advice Service (MAS). The MAS has provided financial and debt advice to consumers since 2010, but is now due to be condensed along with other financial guidance providers.
The government plans to restructure the MAS, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise to create one body which will "ensure that consumers can access the help they need to make effective financial decisions".
With this new delivery model, more funding will be directed to the front line and will look to focus support on the areas of greatest consumer need. The intention is that support will be directly available to those in financial difficulty.
One key change is the intention to offer face-to-face assistance to help consumers with budgeting, debt management and financial planning. In addition, the new body plans to focus much more heavily on offering sound financial advice, rather than just relaying information.
A new pensions guidance body will be part of this, which will streamline the process for consumers. They will be able to seek advice from one place at any point in their lives.
In addition, the new money guidance body plans to identify gaps in the financial guidance market and commission providers to fill these gaps in order to ensure that consumers can access the debt advice and money guidance they need.
While these changes are certainly not insignificant, the key aspects of the MAS are being retained within the new structure. As such, consumers will still be able to access the services they need, but the process is intended to be more transparent and much simpler to access.