Financial guidance bodies merge under temporary SFGB name

James Phillips reports...

The Pensions Advisory Service, Pension Wise and the Money Advice Service have now been merged to form the Single Financial Guidance Body (SFBG) after months of preparation.

While the organisation brings the three services under one umbrella, they each continue to exist under their existing identities – and the SFGB will be renamed over the course of this year.

All staff from the three organisations have now been transferred to the SFGB in a bid to ensure “business as usual” for customers.

The SFGB will now focus on pensions and money guidance, debt advice, consumer protection, and wider stakeholder strategy to improve financial wellbeing across the UK.

It will also be responsible for providing the first pensions dashboard, which will be run on a non-commercial basis, later this year.

In a message on the SFGB’s website, the organisation’s chairman Sir Hector Sants said the body had a “clear mission to help everyone manage their personal finances”.

Govett added: “A 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 SFBG is funded by a levy on the financial services industry and pension schemes, and sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, although it will also engage with the Treasury.

The body has now also completed appointments across its board and management team, adding to chairman Sir Hector Sants, chief executive John Govett, and a range of non-executive directors.

Sat Bains has been appointed chief operating officer, while Helen John has been named chief financial officer, both sitting on the board.

Sarah Porretta has been hired as director of strategy and insight, Bob McNinch as director of digital, marketing and IT, Caroline Siarkiewicz as partnerships and commissioning director, and Steve Merion as interim people, skills and culture director.

The SFGB is now focusing on developing an outreach strategy, including an integrated service offer and partnership working with industry, employers and key stakeholders.