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MAS contact numbers up 8% to 700,000

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More than 700,000 people contacted the Money Advice Service (MAS) in the last six months, an increase of 8% compared to last year.

The service’s half-year results showed 88% of people would use the MAS again and 81% said it provided them with the information they needed. Some 69% said the service helped them decide on a course of action.

Four out of ten people using the service received an action plan – 283,000 action plans so far, against an ambitious target of one million by March 2013.

Gerard Lemos, MAS chairman, said: “The service is making steady progress in tackling the country’s enormous advice gap.

“The long-term goal to make being good with money the norm remains. So we will continue to work hard towards our ambitious targets and develop the Service to make sure it is in tune with people’s needs, provides action-oriented and sustained help and becomes better known for all life’s money matters.”

This comes as the government was called to wind-up MAS, as the  industry-funded operations was attracting growing discontent within Westminster.

The government has rejected the calls.

Lord Sassoon, the commercial secretary to the Treasury, said: “The service has an important responsibility to develop consumer financial education, raise public understanding and knowledge of financial matters and the ability of people to manage their own financial affairs.

“It offers impartial information and advice on money matters nationally and is available to all online, by telephone and face-to-face. The government are, therefore, not considering winding up the service.”

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