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‘Mas helping those most in need’

Ms Rookes, chief executive of the beleaguered service, said 2.1m customers had used Mas in 2012/2013, bringing the total number of people who have used it since its launch in April 2011 to 3.4m.

The data exceeded an initial target of 1.9m customer for 2012.

Ms Rookes said the service was particularly busy after Christmas and the Budget, adding: “These figures are just the tip of the iceberg – millions more people need our help. The plans for 2013/2014 set out a vision for building on our work to date and helping those most in need to manage their debt, save and protect what they own.”

Mas faces a swathe of changes in the way it is funded and monitored, with the new regulator setting out new cost structures and the Treasury announcing a two-year review.

A 10-page framework document detailing how Mas, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Treasury would work together was released in March. A Treasury spokesman said: “We will undertake a review of Mas between 2013 to 2015. From the date of this review, the Treasury will review it periodically.”

In January a 15-page FSA consultation, The Mas Cost Allocation Method for 2013/2014, proposed reforms in the way the organisation was funded to reflect the demand from customers.

However on 9 April the FCA said that, following industry consultation, 25 per cent of the levy would be calculated using the proposed allocation method, and 75 per cent using the current one.

During 2012 Mas faced criticism from MPs about whether it was providing value for money.

Mas went through a restructuring process, including job cuts, followed by the resignation of former chief executive Tony Hobman. He was replaced by Ms Rookes.

Adviser view

Sam Caunt, partner for Northamptonshire-based Kingston PTM, said: “Mas should be funded by the taxpayer, not the industry. If you want to educate and inform, that should be paid by the people you are aiming at.”