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New body rebrand a farce

Simon Read

Simon Read

Will anyone miss the single financial guidance body?

Actually, let me rephrase the question: does anyone know what the single financial guidance body was?

As I am sure you aware, it was the name of the joint body that replaced the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.

Now it will be become the Money and Pensions Service in April.

Staff at the body – which is funded by levies on the financial services industry and pension schemes – will remain at their desks.

All that will actually change will be the name. But that will not be simply be a case of chucking away a bit of outdated branded stationery or a few business cards. It will mean scrapping the website and replacing it with

I am not an expert in the cost of doing that, but I predict it must be a few bob. 

Folk who have been involved in similar processes tell me that, depending on the complexity, setting up a website like that could cost as much as £100,000 or more.

And they would have been forced to splash out that sort of expense when they launched their new website in January, as well as when they launch their new, new website next month.

Whatever the actual amount (and I am sure the Money and Pensions Service will be in touch to correct me if my back-of-a-fag-packet calculations are far out), it sounds like yet another needless waste of our money.

Let us face it, the eventual name of the new joint body is a fairly obvious one.

The brain-storming meeting when their boffins came up with the name probably went something like this:

“So what shall we call it?”

“Well, it’s a service that covers money and pensions…”

“The Money and Pensions Service?”

“Perfect. Let’s have another pint.”

In short, they could have avoided the preposterously-named single financial guidance body altogether.

Interestingly, the website was registered back in September, some three months before the single financial guidance body appeared.

If that was done by someone in the organisation that would suggest they already had an inkling of what the renamed body would be called.

It follows that they could have saved an awful lot of time and effort by just switching to the new name back in January rather than going through with the farce of operating as the single financial guidance body for three months.

It means the new body – the Money and Pensions Service not the single financial guidance body – will not be having much of a fresh start, when it desperately needed one.