Money Advice Service to face two-year Treasury review

The Treasury has announced is set to undertake a two-year review of the Money Advice Service between 2013-2015 to assess its continuing suitability after a period of intense scrutiny for the organisation.

In a framework document agreed between Mas, the Financial Conduct Authority and HM Treasury, which sets out the broad framework within which the service operates, the Treasury confirmed it would subject Mas to regular reviews and would constantly assess its key objectives.

According to the framework, Mas is tasked primarily with promoting “financial planning”, promoting “awareness” of various financial products and services, and proving debt services top the public, a role it took over from the Citizens Advice Service last year.

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In terms of the checks and balances on the service and its spending, the document requires the Mas board to set up an audit and risk committee chaired by an independent non-executive member, as well as a remuneration committee.

The latter move in particular follows controversy over the pay package of former chief executive Tony Hobman, who was paid £350,000 in 2011 including bonuses. He later resigned in 2012.

Board members will also be charged to keep under review whether the service is using its resources in the most “efficient and cost-effective way” and reviewing the service’s internal financial controls.

The framework document said: “The Treasury will undertake a review of the Money Advice Service between 2013-2015. From the date of this review, HM Treasury will review the Money Advice Service periodically. This framework document will also be reviewed at these times, or when appropriate, to ensure it is still appropriate.”