MAS consumer contact up 40% year on year
MAS’ performance figures for the months July to September showed consumer contact – comprising a visit to the website, web chat, phone or face-to-face session – was up 42 per cent on the previous year, as 5.4 million people were recorded as having used the service.
The vast majority were online contacts, recording more than five million users.
The MAS has an annual target of 16 million contacts, up from 5.45 million last year.
Last autumn it was branded “not fit for purpose” by the Treasury committee (TC), which found it was failing in its objectives and not offering value for money.
Latest consumer satisfaction figures showed fewer people found the MAS helped them decide on a course of action in the period but the vast majority were still planning to return and recommend the service.
Of those who took action as a result of speaking to the MAS, most acted on budgeting their everyday spending. Around 88,000 said they took steps to prepare for later life and retirement.
The MAS was initially selected as one of the providers of the government’s at-retirement guidance guarantee but was later dropped from the panel.
Chief executive Caroline Rookes (pictured) said: “We are pleased that our performance figures suggest that many people are using our tools to help them budget and make better-informed decisions before committing themselves.
“We’ve also made great progress in building and developing partnerships this quarter, with our new debt advice grant agreements, with partners in the commercial and voluntary sectors, and with the financial capability strategy.
“No one organisation can change the UK’s money habits on its own, so it’s really encouraging to see that so many organisations are pulling together to achieve this goal.”