Money Advice Service (MAS) chief executive Caroline Rookes will step down from her role in April next year. 

Rookes (pictured) announced the decision in a letter sent to stakeholders in the guidance body this morning. 

In the letter, Rookes said she would help MAS through a government consultation on plans to merge the existing three financial guidance bodies into a single entity.

‘My plan was to leave after my initial three-year term concluded in February 2016. However, with such a critical debate developing at that time around the future of money guidance I decided it was right to stay on to help shape that thinking,' she wrote. 

Rookes added her support for the government's plans to create a single publicly funded financial guidance body by 2018.

‘Getting the next step right for the interlinked areas of debt and money guidance, and pressing the urgent need to address stubbornly low levels of financial capability is essential. I was therefore delighted to see the Government announcement following consultation that there will be one guidance body rather than the two originally proposed,’ she said.

MAS chairman Andy Briscoe said: ‘Caroline has been an outstanding leader, powerful champion for the MAS and supportive colleague during an extremely challenging period. I have very much enjoyed working with her and have always valued her judgement.

'Caroline has enjoyed a long and highly distinguished career in public service and the MAS board fully respects her view that this is the right time to retire. The board is now focused on ensuring a smooth succession.’