MAS refers just 2 in 1,000 to advisers

Sarah Davidson

August 15, 2012

In its first annual review MAS said 25% of its website users took action based on the information or advice received.

But just 3,000 were referred to regulated financial advice during the year.

More than half of MAS users visited the online health check which does a basic fact find and offers an “action plan” based on customers’ answers.

A statement in the report said: “In developing our services we have worked closely with experienced IFAs to contribute to our money advice on, for example, divorce and separation, and to quality assure our online health check. We continue to draw on such expertise.

“We know some IFAs use our health check as part of their own service, for example inviting their clients to do our health check prior to meeting them, or if the client hasn’t seen them in the last twelve months.”

IFA Simpson Financial Services promotes the use of MAS to its clients.

It said: “It takes 5-6 minutes to get your own personal prioritised action plan to help you make the most of your money.

“The health check is the latest in a series of tools from the Money Advice Service to help everyone manage their money as effectively as possible.

“We would particularly recommend you do this prior to your next meeting with us or if you haven’t seen us in the last 12 months. We know how useful it is because we’ve used it ourselves.”

The MAS is funded by a statutory industry levy that rose to £86.8m for 2012/13 from £43.7m the year before reflecting MAS’s additional responsibility for offering debt advice

Advisers contribute to the money advice budget only which accounts for £46.3m of the total.

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