Money Advice Service - costs lots of money but provides no specific advice

04 April 2011

The FSA today launched its rebranded Moneymadeclear and Consumer Financial Education Body as the Money Advice Service which will cost the industry £43.7m this year.

The service will offer only generic advice as anything more specific would amount to a regulated activity, requiring this FSA subsidiary to obtain FSA authorisation!

Is this a sign of things to come?  Is this part of the 'simplified advice' service the FSA has in mind post-RDR?  In a speech last May on simplified advice, Sheila Nicoll said: "Consumers may not be encouraged to save just because the advice process is simpler, if they don't want to save in the first place. Thus, I think there is a hugely important role for Moneymadeclear and the new money guidance service to help people understand their needs and provide generic help and information. I know that my colleagues in the newly launched Consumer Financial Education Body have done much work to devise and deliver the sort of help that consumers need. In particular, a service such as this can help people recognise the importance of saving for retirement, what options might be available and signposting places to go for further information and advice. Thus, Moneymadeclear could play an important role in encouraging people towards simplified advice, where this was relevant."

Firms will be little comforted by the idea that funding the Money Advice Service may generate business for their post-RDR simplified services.

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