Press release: Money Advice Service publishes 2016/17 Business Plan

Consultation now open for stakeholder input

Tuesday 22 December 2015

The Money Advice Service (MAS) has today published its draft Business Plan for 2016/17 and three-year Corporate Strategy, and has opened a period of consultation with industry and wider stakeholders.

The plan builds on significant changes already implemented following an Independent Review in March 2015. The Money Advice Service now has a new emphasis on working with many partners to encourage people to engage with their money and improve their financial capability.

Key deliverables:

  • In 2016/17 Money Advice Service will complete the process of change to become a strategic influencer and facilitator for the financial capability sector.
  • We will fund help for 425,000 heavily indebted people (15% more than in 2015/16) and provide more capacity in the free debt advice sector by funding new telephone helpline capacity.
  • By 2020 we will double the proportion of indebted people who seek debt advice from 17% to 34%.
  • We will run a series of tests with specific target groups of over-indebted people to encourage them to seek advice before their debts become a serious problem.
  • We have set out a three-year Corporate Strategy in our Business Plan, including a clear customer segmentation and targeted prioritisation of needs.
  • We will carry out a nationwide campaign to help 12.6m particularly “squeezed” consumers identified in our segmentation to understand where they can cut costs on everyday spending to enable saving.
  • We will conduct trials, pilots and research into money management skills, sharing the evidence base with the third sector, private sector and Government, along the successful lines of other centres of excellence dedicated to proving and communicating “what works”.
  • We will support people as they transition to Universal Credit by providing a free, fast tool to help them with their household budgeting.
  • 1 million children and young people will be served by delivery organisations that have signed up to building a shared evidence base about financial education, and continually refining what they do to increase its impact (the “IMPACT” principles).

The deliverables outlined in this Business Plan will be achieved while operating more efficiently to deliver increased outcomes while reducing our spend by 7%*.

Commenting on the 2016/17 Business Plan, Caroline Rookes, Chief Executive of the Money Advice Service, said:

“This Business Plan and Corporate Strategy demonstrate our new strategic direction as a result of the Independent Review earlier this year, which has been a major driver behind the objectives set out today. We set out clear deliverables against which we will be measured over the next year, building on significant changes already implemented to streamline services and demonstrate value for money. This fresh approach has already been reflected in the launch of the UK Financial Capability Strategy in October, a 10-year plan to ensure maximum impact on levels of consumer financial capability through collective action.

“Our remit to coordinate the private, public, and voluntary sectors to deliver improved consumer outcomes is absolutely central to everything we now do. Without the coordination and collaboration among these groups, financial capability in the UK will remain at its stubbornly low level, with four in 10 adults not feeling in control of their finances. At its core, this Business Plan outlines how working with others can create a much larger impact than we ever could on our own.”

The aims are based on six core areas:

1. Succeeding through partnerships: The Money Advice Service will offer a platform for partners in the UK Financial Capability Strategy to deliver collective impact.

2. Earlier and wider access to debt advice: We estimate that approximately 8.8 million consumers in the UK have debts with a heavy burden, yet only 17% seek help. MAS will widen and improve debt advice through early intervention, crisis debt quality standards and helping affected consumers to improve their long-term resilience.

3. More people budgeting and saving: We will work with a range of partners and techniques to raise budgeting capabilities across the UK and continue to promote increased levels of saving.

4. Improving access to advice and guidance: Access to good, impartial information about financial products is essential. Our new focus is on enabling people to access the right information, advice or guidance when making financial decisions, whatever the information source. Our own website is just part of that wider picture.

5. Working with financial services: 12.6 million people of working age are relatively disengaged from financial products and financial choices. We will work with the financial services industry and regulators with the aim of building financial capability and an appetite to save, which will in turn increase the industry’s commercial opportunities.

6. Widening and improving financial education: We will work to ensure younger people are better equipped to make the most of the freedom and choice that exist within our financial system. We will have a particular emphasis on demonstrating that money skills can complement the other attainment targets by which schools are assessed.

Measuring our impact

The ultimate measure of success is the financial behaviours of millions of consumers right across the UK. For our debt advice work, we already have such a set of scale and quality indicators in place and this business plan outlines 20 further key performance indicators against which we will be judged. Some of these were outlined earlier, including the delivery of accredited debt advice to 425,000 people across the UK.

All 24 targets being set as part of this Business Plan can be seen in full on page 44 herehttps://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/corporate/2016-17-business-plan-consultation

Response to Independent Review recommendations

The Business Plan and Corporate Strategy reflects the Money Advice Service response to the remaining six Independent Review recommendations. These were scrutinized by an Independent Panel of experts.

Consultation period open until 15 February

The Money Advice Service is consulting on this Business Plan and invites stakeholders to provide feedback. Consultation questions can be found within the business plan. Responses can be submitted to businessplan@moneyadviceservice.org.uk. The consultation closes on 15 February 2016.

ENDS

For more information please contact:

Money Advice Service Press Office

020 7947 0068 / pressoffice@moneyadviceservice.org.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS

*Our overall spend will reduce by 7% for 2016/17. The Money Advice Spend will reduce by 12% and debt advice will remain the same.

About the Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is an independent organisation. Set up by government to help people make the most of their money, it gives free, unbiased money advice and guidance across the UK – online, over the phone and face to face. Paid for by a statutory levy on the financial services industry, raised through the Financial Conduct Authority, its statutory objectives are to enhance the understanding & knowledge of members of the public about financial matters (including the UK financial system), and to enhance the ability of the public to manage their own financial affairs.