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Gov’t ups MAS scrutiny and promises review by 2015

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Gov’t ups MAS scrutiny and promises review by 2015

The government, rather than incoming regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), will conduct a review of the Money Advice Service (MAS) by the end of 2015.

Speaking at the Treasury Select Committee’s MAS inquiry, economic secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid (pictured) said he would carry out a review of the organisation to check how it was being run and to see if it was meeting its objectives.

‘I as the minister will be taking out a thorough review of MAS and looking at how its meeting objectives and how it’s running—especially with all the recent changes,’ he said.

‘I will expect to do this before the end of this parliament and when I carry out this review other stakeholders will be able to put their input into it as well.’

Labour MP George Mudie said he’d be ‘unhappy’ to leave the MAS running as it has been for another three years, as it was ‘a new organisation that has arbitrarily changed its total way of operation within a year’.

Javid, who replaced Mark Hoban as financial secretary to the Treasury in September, responded telling Mudie that MAS would remain under strong scrutiny until 2015.

He also revealed that MAS would be under the scope of the National Audit Office, which scrutinises public spending on the behalf of parliament.

Much of the committee’s criticism of MAS has focussed on its lack of accountability and the amount of money it has spent on staff salaries and marketing.

Javid though defended the £20 million marketing spend.

‘I had never heard of the MAS until six months ago,’ he said.

He added that the public needed to be aware of these services if they were to use them, and that since MAS was relatively new it needed time to be marketed.

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