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The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrea Leadsom, launched an independent review of the Money Advice Service (MAS) on 30 May 2014. These terms of reference outline the scope of the MAS review within which the independent reviewer, Christine Farnish, will consider: consumer need for education and advice; how effectively MAS is meeting this need; and make any recommendations which would help it better achieve its objectives.
The Economic Secretary wrote to George Mudie, the Chairman of the Treasury sub-committee, about the launch of this independent review.
The Money Advice Service (MAS) was established by the government as the Consumer Financial Education Body (CFEB) in April 2010 to take over responsibility from the then financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority to promote understanding of the financial system and raise levels of financial capability of members of the public across the UK. It launched under the brand name, ‘Money Advice Service’ in April 2011.
MAS has statutory functions to enhance:
the understanding and knowledge of members of the public of financial matters (including the UK financial system); and
the ability of members of the public to manage their own financial affairs.
MAS also took on the coordination and provision of face-to-face debt advice from April 2012, which added a third objective to their remit:
to improve the quality, consistency, and availability of debt advice.
The government is committed to undertaking a ‘medium term’ review of MAS during this parliament. We first made this commitment to review MAS in October 2010 when setting out the government’s programme of fundamental reform of financial services regulation. This review fulfils that commitment.