Single Financial Guidance Body gets to work

The Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB) began its work this week as it starts to take over from previous bodies.

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New execs appointed to the Single Financial Guidance Body

Two new executives have been appointed to the board of the Single Financial Guidance Body.

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More than 10m seek money advice annual report shows

The Money Advice Service (MAS) has published its 2017/18 annual report, which revealed that 10.5 million had sought money guidance.

The document, published yesterday, will be the last MAS annual report and accounts before the organisation becomes a part of the Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB), headed up by former FSA chief Sir Hector Sants, later in the year.

Key highlights included providing money guidance to 10.5 million people, including 3.8 million from the “financially squeezed and struggling segments.”

The organisation helped more than 487,000 people through MAS-funded free debt advice services, with 93% of customers (where they agreed with an adviser to do so) going on to take action.

MAS also directly supported 65 projects aimed at enhancing financial capability through its £11m What Works Fund

The report also showed MAS had funded £43.1m of front-line debt advice in 2017/18.

The organisation invoiced levy payers £7.9m less than the expenditure budget, to reduce its reserves in advance of transitioning to the new SFGB.

On the change to SFGB the report read: Working with and alongside the other public financial guidance bodies, the Money Advice Service is busy supporting the transition and, alongside this, keeping a focus on maintaining the momentum of our day-to-day work and continuing to deliver a high-quality service for the public.

“The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be the sponsor Department for the new body, but the body will also engage with HM Treasury, which has responsibility for government policy on financial capability and consumer debt.

“The DWP has established a SFGB programme board with representatives from the three organisations, the Financial Conduct Authority and HM Treasury to prepare for and ensure a smooth transition.”
 
Andy Briscoe, MAS chairman, said: “All of this progress could not have been delivered without our partners and our staff, and their commitment to improving financial capability across the UK.

“Together we have helped millions of people to take control of their money, and so to lead happier lives.

“It is wonderful that this important work will be continued and developed by the SFGB.
 
“All those involved with these achievements deserve to feel proud of their contribution.

“However, I know they also appreciate that there is still so much to be done.

“The need for our services has never been greater, which is why we are delighted that the SFGB will be taking forward our vital work.”
 
Charles Counsell, MAS chief executive, said: “This may be the last year for the Money Advice Service, but this report shows we are certainly not slowing down as we reach the finish line. 

“A key achievement this year is helping almost half a million people receive high-quality debt advice: a transformation, not just in people’s finances, but in their health, their state of mind and their quality of life.
 
“Our focus for the coming year is to maintain momentum and to continue to deliver high-quality services for members of the public while working on a smooth and successful transition to the new SFGB.”

 

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Sants backed as chair of new financial guidance body

Sir Hector Sants’ appointment as chair of the Single Financial Guidance Body has been welcomed.

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