The start of 2019 has brought with it the advent of the Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB), which will provide the services previously carried out by three providers of government-sponsored financial guidance:

  • The Money Advice Service (MAS), which provided guidance on debt matters and general financial issues
  • The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS), which provided guidance on workplace pensions
  • Pension Wise, which provided guidance on the options over 55s had for accessing their pension savings

The five ‘core functions’ of the SFGB are:

  • Pensions guidance – providing information and guidance to consumers on pensions issues, relating to both workplace and personal pensions
  • Money guidance – enhancing consumers’ understanding and knowledge of general financial matters and improving their day-to-day money management skills
  • Debt advice – providing information and advice on debt matters. In this case the organisation provides a free-to-use alternative to that offered by commercial debt management firms that are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Consumer protection – here the SFGB says it will work with the Government and the FCA to enhance the protection that the financial system offers to consumers
  • Strategy – here the organisation says it will work with the financial services industry, devolved authorities and the public and voluntary sectors to develop a national strategy to improve financial capability, help people in managing debt and provide financial education for children and young people

The SFGB has its own website at https://singlefinancialguidancebody.org.uk/, however at time of writing this still consists of a single page, and much of the relevant information, including any media releases, is still contained on the websites of the three previous bodies.

In time, a new name will be chosen for the organisation.

The levies to fund the new organisation will be paid by both authorised financial services firms, and by pension schemes.

There have been no job losses as a result of the changes, with all staff of the MAS, TPAS and Pension Wise transferring to the new body.

Former FCA head Sir Hector Sants is the chairman of the SFGB, and he commented:

“The new organisation has a clear mission to help everyone manage their personal finances as well as their circumstances allow across the nation. We are creating an organisation which is seen as transparent, accountable, effective and above all respected by all, working hand-in-hand with the industry, our staff and our partners.”

Chief executive John Govett described his organisation’s objectives as follows:

“A new single body provides an opportunity to deliver a more streamlined service to people, providing easier access to the information and guidance they need to help them make effective financial decisions throughout their lives.”

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article