Download Money Advice Service: annual report and accounts 2016 to 2017 PDF

TitleMoney Advice Service: annual report and accounts 2016 to 2017
File Size9.0 MB
Total Pages124
Table of Contents
Company information
	Chairman’s foreword
	Chief Executive’s introduction
	Preface – Charles Counsell
	A look back at 2016/17
	Our changing role
	Our performance
our plan
	Delivering through others
	Earlier and wider access to debt advice
	More people budgeting and saving
	Improving access to guidance and advice
	Widening and improving financial education
Our people 
and values
Statutory reports
Strategic report
Directors’ report
Statement of Directors’ and Accounting Officer’s responsibilities
Governance statement
Remuneration report
The certificate and report of the Comptroller and Auditor General to the Houses 
of Parliament
Financial statements
Notes to 
the financial statements
Accounts direction from HM Treasury
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Annual Report
and Accounts

Company number 07172704

Page 2



Page 62

The Money Advice Service: Annual Report and Accounts 2016/17


Improving access to guidance and advice

We will increase the number of people accessing our services from the ‘squeezed’ and
‘struggling’ segments to 3.7 million. We will continue to deliver and refine an effective, low
cost digital service, receiving all its traffic from unpaid sources and review our printed
guides to ensure we have the right range and distribution.

Widening and improving financial education
We will survey and map children’s financial capability needs across the UK; we will fund at
least 10 ‘What Works Fund’ projects that will build robust evidence, a parenting skills pilot
and a maths in context pilot. Additionally we will develop a commissioning plat on how our
funding and the work of others can best help financial education for children and young
people, at home or in schools.

Equality and diversity

The Money Advice Service is committed to the principle of equality, diversity and inclusion.
The Money Advice Service continues to seek ways of further improving its performance in
this area, ensuring that all members of the Board, staff, visitors and applicants are treated on
the basis of their merits and abilities and that no one suffers discrimination or disadvantage
regardless of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion/belief or age.

The Service has embedded equality and diversity policies into its work. Details of what we
have done to embed these policies into the organisation are detailed in our annual review.

Health and safety

The Money Advice Service is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment. It
pursues a policy to promote health and safety at work and seeks the cooperation of all
employees and visitors in this endeavour.

Trade payables payments policy

The Money Advice Service’s policy is to aim to pay 100% of valid invoices with a correct
purchase order within 30 days of receiving them. The average time taken to pay suppliers
from receipt of invoice was 29 days (30 days in 2015/16).

Principal risks and uncertainties

The Public Financial Guidance review and subsequent developments
In 2015, the government launched the public financial guidance consultation to seek
views on how publicly funded pensions guidance, debt guidance an money guidance
could best be structured to help consumers make effective financial decisions. The
outcome of the review was published in March 2016, with the Government consulting on
proposals to replace the three existing organisations with two new bodies: a new money
guidance body, and a new pensions guidance body. Under these proposals, it was
envisaged that the new money guidance body would continue to commission free debt
advice services but would not offer a direct money guidance service to consumers, nor
have a public-facing brand. The consultation underlined the importance of continuing
work to build financial capability.

As a result of this, the Money Advice Service had to make significant changes to how it
proceeded with the 2016/17 financial year. Planned investment in direct services was
reduced, all direct marketing activities were ended, and we strengthened the focus on
developing new commissioning plans. We also established a transition team to prepare for
the move to the new bodies.

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The Money Advice Service: Annual Report and Accounts 2016/17


On 19 December 2016, the Government published a fresh consultation, setting out plans to
bring the functions of the Money Advice Service, TPAS and Pension Wise together in a
single new money guidance body, to be fully operational by autumn 2018 at the earliest.

More recently, with the outcome of the general election, we have some added uncertainty
in terms of timing and a definitive outcome. Whilst we anticipate that we will be proceeding
with our approved 2017/18 business plan, and aim to work towards the outcome for a
single new body, there is an element of risk in this assumption if there were to be further
changes in the political environment.

What Works Fund
As noted above, the success of the WWF in attracting a high volume of applicants presented
certain challenges for the Money Advice Service. The programme highlighted the need for
the Money Advice Service to have a greater flexibility in planning timescales for such
programmes, to allow the participating organisations to align with our requirements for high
levels of governance. Whilst the delays in the programme have not been desirable, a positive
outcome from the experience has been that the various organisations engaged in the
programme have satisfied our governance requirements and we have in place good
processes for the following tranches. For the 2017/18 financial year, we have committed a
further £3m towards the programme, including a commitment to fund an additional 8
projects in 2017/18.

The challenge and uncertainty that remains for the Money Advice Service is that this
programme has no historical precedent from which we can predict the complete future
outcome. This is further complicated by the varying sizes and nature of the external
organisations involved. For example, if an organisation were to face challenges of general
funding, they may not be able to deliver on specific projects they have committed to (such
as WWF). Whilst the financial risks for the Money Advice Service is mitigated on this through
our rigorous governance processes, the risk of timeline slippage could edge back in.
Regular reporting implemented should minimise this risk, but does not completely
eliminate it, because to achieve the outcomes desired, a certain level of flexibility in dealing
with the external organisations needs to remain in place.

Debt advice
We have increased our debt advice budget by £3m for the 2017/18 financial year. Whilst this
was welcomed by some during the consultation process, there were some questions about
the impact of offsetting this against preventative measures of money advice. Given the high
needs in the debt advice space, we are proceeding with the increase. This therefore also
increases our exposure to the risks of commissioning. The risk is mitigated by the fact that
we have improved quality and evaluation standards in our requirements and
commissioning objectives.

The future commissioning strategy will set out our approach to commissioning debt advice
over the next five years. The strategy will include a sourcing programme for the services we
will procure. Any change between current and future provision will inherently carry a
service continuity risk.

By Order of the Board

Michelle Clewer
Company Secretary

Strategic report

Page 124

Money Advice Service
Holborn Centre
120 Holborn
London EC1N 2TD

Money Advice Line 0800 138 7777*
Typetalk 1800 1 0300 500 5000

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we may record or monitor calls.

Information correct at time of printing (July 2017)

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