Opinion  

Mas ‘helped a lot of people’ how exactly?

Julian Stevens

Regarding Caroline Rookes’ defence of the Money Advice Service (Mas), in what way did it “deal with” 50m visits to its website?

Ninty-nine per cent of those who cast an eye over it may well have decided that it was not what they expected (probably quick, easy answers to their questions to which, of course, there aren’t any), and just logged off without doing anything further. Fifty million hits, on its own, is just a bald (and oddly round) statistic that means nothing.

And what is the basis of Mas’s claim to have “helped a lot of people”? It operates no follow-up system to ascertain whether or not, six or 12 months later, those with whom it has actively engaged have stuck to whatever plans of action it may have suggested, and whether they have found them to be of any practical value. So it does not know.

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What feedback has it sought and received from users on the practical value of the tools available on its website? No examples have been provided, so we simply do not know.

How many visitors to the Mas site have gone on to engage the services of a regulated adviser and reported back that they found those services to have been worth paying for? Does Mas have any idea?

If Ms Rookes wishes, with any credibility, to challenge claims that Mas has been a massive waste of time, she really needs to provide meaningful data with flesh on their bones Unsubstantiated soundbites such as having “helped a lot of people” and “developed a lot of resources and tools” mean nothing.

Julian Stevens

IFA,

Harvest,

Bristol