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Citizens Advice responds to Competition and Markets Authority's proposed reforms

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, responded to the briefing from the Competition and Markets Authority on proposed reforms

“These reforms have the potential to be a huge step forward for consumers.

“As our super-complaint to the CMA made clear, for too long the the balance of power has been tipped in favour of business not consumers.

“The proposals set out today could unshackle regulators and give them the authority they need to better protect consumers by putting their interests first.

“The government have already promised consumer legislation in the first half of this year - we hope they listen to the CMA and set out a clear plan.

“But regulators must not sit on their hands as they wait for new laws to be passed. They must use their existing powers to stop the most blatant rip offs such as the loyalty penalty and overcharging vulnerable consumers.”

Reforms proposed to put consumers at the heart of UK competition regime

Background:

Citizens Advice submitted a super-complaint on the loyalty penalty to the CMA in September 2018 calling for the regulator to consider how the problem can be fixed.

Research by Citizens Advice found that across 5 essential markets (mobile, broadband, home insurance, mortgages and savings):

  • British consumers lose £4.1 billion a year to the loyalty penalty (or £11 million a day).
  • 8 in 10 people are paying a significantly higher price, in at least one of the markets, for remaining with their existing supplier.
  • The loyalty penalty is, on average, £877 per year - equal to 3% of the average household’s total annual expenditure.

For more information contact: Laura Albrey, Tel: 03000231 313

We give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward - whoever they are, and whatever their problem.

Notes to editors

  1. In 2018 Citizens Advice launched a super-complaint.

  2. Loyalty Penalty Cross Sector Report.

  3. Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.

  4. Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.

  5. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2017-18. And we had 25 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.

  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 22,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.

  7. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.

Original article link: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-citizens-advice-works/media/press-releases/citizens-advice-responds-competition-and-markets-authoritys-proposed-reforms/

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