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|Money Advice Service publishes revised 2016/17 Business Plan|
|Wednesday, 11 May 2016|
The Money Advice Service (MAS) has today published its Business Plan for 2016/17 which sets out our plans for this year to continue to help millions of people manage their money better. The plan will also assist HM Treasury to shape the new money guidance body that will come into existence in two years’ time.
In 2016/17 we will continue to deliver on our statutory objectives. In addition we will focus on developing robust evidence of ‘what works’ to improve financial decisions, through innovative trials and pilots delivered by third-party organisations. The plan will also contribute to ensuring that the transition to the new body is as effective as possible, in co-ordination with the Treasury and the FCA.
· Identifying ‘what works’ - We will increase funding into the front line with up to seven million pounds set aside to commission external organisations to conduct trials, pilots and research into ‘what works’.
· Funding more debt advice - We will fund help for 425,000 over-indebted people – a 15% increase on last year, by providing more capacity in the free debt advice sector and funding new telephone helpline capacity. We will also run a series of tests with specific target groups of over-indebted people to encourage them to seek advice earlier.
· Improving financial capability - We will continue to establish the Financial Capability Strategy for the UK to develop clear, accountable action plans for each thematic area.
· Financial education - We will drive forward collaborations and partnerships with key organisations delivering financial education for children and young people to help them evaluate their work against high standards of evidence and impact.
· Support for Universal Credit recipients - We will continue our partnership with Department of Work and Pensions to support people transitioning to Universal Credit by providing a free, fast tool to help them with their household budgeting.
· Payment accounts - We will deliver on our statutory duty to increase awareness of basic bank accounts and work towards enabling customers to compare fees charged on all payment accounts.
Commenting on the 2016/17 Business Plan, Caroline Rookes, Chief Executive of the Money Advice Service, said: “The Money Advice Service will continue to serve millions of customers each year up to April 2018, as well as continuing to grow the financial capability partnerships and evidence base needed for the long-term Financial Capability Strategy for the UK.
“Following feedback on our draft 2016/17 plan and the government announcement on the future of financial guidance, we have taken action to cease all marketing and brand building activity immediately. We have also shifted investment away from the long-term development of our website meaning that we can increase funding into the front line by distributing an additional four million to ‘what works’ initiatives delivered through voluntary partners. Activity will continue as laid out in the consultation document for debt advice and financial capability work.
“Ultimately the job of improving financial capability and encouraging more people to seek debt advice will require the co-ordinated efforts of a wide variety of sectors. A challenge which the Financial Capability Strategy aims to tackle. Most importantly consumers will remain at the heart of our service, so that people across the UK can make the most of their money.”
The business plan is based on five aims:
1. Delivering through others: To lead co-ordination of the many organisations that can contribute to improving financial capability through collective impact – creating a common understanding of problems and of ways to address them.
2. Earlier and wider access to debt advice: To support significantly more over- indebted people to access free, high-quality advice, as early as possible, to resolve their crises and build their long-term financial capability.
3. More people budgeting and saving: To help people most at risk from income shocks to manage their money well day to day and save more.
4. Improving access to guidance and advice: To fill clearly identified gaps in the guidance and advice landscape so that people get the help they need when taking financial decisions.
5. Widening and improving financial education: To improve the ability of children and young people to manage their money and take good financial decisions.
Measuring our impact
The plan outlines 18 key performance indicators which we will use to understand progress against this target. These have been divided into three different categories; those that already measure impact on consumers at scale, those that represent key stepping stones on the path towards impact on consumers at scale and ongoing proxy measures for quality or influence. These targets can be seen in full on page 47 of the business plan.
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