Media response: Joint Financial Advice Market consultation

Monday 3 August 2015

Caroline Rookes, Chief Executive for the Money Advice Service, responds to the consultation on statutory arrangements for the provision of free and impartial financial guidance:

“Any consultation which acts in the interests of the consumer can only be a positive step forward. Consumers are at the heart of everything we do and our ultimate goal is to ensure that they have access to the information they need, when they need it so that they can reach their financial goals. Last year 8.4 million unique customers from the UK used our site to get free impartial money advice on a range of subjects. These included tips for living on a low income and buying a home or car. We know that there is a need for information to help people manage their money better and this is the key to improving financial capability across the UK.

“The recent Independent Review made it very clear that the Money Advice Service has a role to play and should continue to work on improving people’s ability to manage their money as well as increasing access to debt advice. Since then, our organisation has undergone major changes to its strategy and way of operating, adapting the way we do things to better meet the needs of consumers. This has included; significantly reducing marketing spend, funding the delivery of services through other organisations, encouraging use of the evidence hub and filling gaps in need, for example; launching our Retirement Adviser Directory. Financial capability also remains a crucial issue and we’re working collaboratively with over 250 organisations to drive consumers to take action to improve their finances with the ten year strategy due to launch in October this year.

“We look forward to working closely with HMT and FCA to contribute to this consultation to ensure impartial financial information evolves in a way that best meets consumer’s needs.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

About the Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is an independent organisation which gives free, unbiased money advice online (moneyadviceservice.org.uk), over the phone (0300 500 5000, and face-to-face right across the UK. Originally set up by government, it is paid for by a statutory levy on the financial services industry. Its statutory objectives are to enhance the understanding and knowledge of members of the public about financial matters (including the UK financial system); and to enhance the ability of members of the public to manage their own financial affairs.

For more information contact: Money Advice Service Press Office on 020 7943 0593 or press.office@moneyadviceservice.org.uk