The Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB) officially began operating from Tuesday, 1 January and replaces the Money Advice Service (MAS), the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.
The new body is sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, but will also engage with Treasury. It has been tasked to improve the public’s financial capability and provide free-to-user support on all aspects of people’s financial lives.
The SFGB will continue the services of the three organisations as usual, with staff from each of them transferring to the organisation under the new board and leadership team. A new name for the SFGB will be sought later in 2019.
Five core functions of the SFGB include:
- Pensions – to provide information to the public on matters relating to workplace and personal pensions
- Money guidance – to provide information designed to enhance people’s understanding and knowledge of financial matters and day-to-day money management skills
- Debt advice – to provide people in England with information and advice on debt
- Consumer protection – enabling the SFGB to work with government and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in protecting consumers
- Strategy – work with the financial services industry, devolved authorities and the public and voluntary sectors to develop a national strategy to improve people’s financial capability, helping them to manage debt and provide financial education for children and young people.
Sir Hector Sants, SFGB Chairman, said:
“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.”