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Mas unveils its plans to work with supermarkets

The strategy and innovation director at the Money Advice Service said: “It’s vital that anyone needing help with money matters knows where to turn – for crisis debt problems or general money matters like everyday budgeting or major life events, such as moving home or retiring.

“But people don’t always seek advice when they need it – barriers stopping them are wide-ranging; from fear and obliviousness to lack of knowledge or time.”

For this reason Mas has already teamed up with NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Post Office to offer advice on issues ranging from planning for Christmas to student budgeting.

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Mr Fiander would not confirm which supermarkets Mas plans to work with later this year but said the body had “dipped its toe in the water” already.

He added: “We want to make seeking money advice a normal part of life. Mas can only take people so far on their journey: just up to the regulated boundary.

“Hence we continue to work closely with the financial services industry to agree the best way to refer people onwards to regulated financial advice.”

Mas guidance on first-time buying, flood protection and the Help to Buy scheme has also been incorporated into websites such as Birmingham City Council, Rightmove and MoneySupermarket.com.

Adviser view

James Robson, financial planner at London-based Plutus Wealth Management, said: “It’s a good thing to widen the availability of advice because people need it.

“But I would question how they would facilitate this – the government and Mas seem to like the idea of people getting advice, but who is going to pay for it? There is also the issue of whether supermarkets with a banking arm will be promoting their own products.”