An MP has branded the Money Advice Service (MAS) as a 'playground bully' for its disruptive influence on the industry and the delivery of debt advice.
The service came under scrutiny from a Treasury Select Committee sub-committee yesterday, and Labour MP George Mudie summed up how he perceived its attitude since taking over from the Consumer Financial Education Body and other predecessor bodies.
"I picture you like the playground bully who has come in with all these powers and all this money, you make sure you are okay and then you start causing havoc out there in the market. Nobody knows what on earth you are doing," he said.
"We had a perfectly good - in fact the National Audit Office said it was world-leading - organisation that you inherited. You hadn't inherited it for a year then you sacked nearly half the staff and you decided to go off in a direction that nobody is quite clear about."
Mudie then suggested the MAS was "causing havoc" in the coordination of debt advice, which it took control of in April, explaining the concerns of his local Citizens Advice Bureau debt clinic in Leeds.
"You're asking for a 62% increase in throughput without any more money, without any more people," he said.
"You then come back next year and tell them they are going to have to bid for money for debt advice face-to-face."
He was referring to the possibility that organisations delivering debt advice will have to bid for contracts, as has been the case already with face-to-face money advice.
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