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The Office of Fair Trading A Consumer Council guide to: www.oft.gov.uk.

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Presentation on theme: "The Office of Fair Trading A Consumer Council guide to: www.oft.gov.uk."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Office of Fair Trading A Consumer Council guide to:

2 The Office of Fair Trading About the OFT A Consumer Council guide The OFTs mission is to make markets work well for consumers. They do this by promoting and protecting consumer interests throughout the UK, while ensuring that businesses are fair and competitive.

3 The Office of Fair Trading The OFT pursues these goals by: encouraging businesses to comply with competition and consumer law and to improve their trading practices through self-regulation; acting decisively to stop persistent or deliberate offenders; studying markets and recommending action where required; empowering consumers with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed choices and get the best value from markets; and helping them to resolve problems through Consumer Direct.* * GB equivalent of Consumerline A Consumer Council guide

4 The Office of Fair Trading How the OFT works The OFT is a non-ministerial government department established by statute in It works under a structure arranged by markets, rather than legislation. This enables the OFT to look more easily at whole markets and to use all the tools available to them to improve market areas that are not operating effectively. A Consumer Council guide

5 The Office of Fair Trading A Consumer Council guide Different approaches used by the OFT

6 A Consumer Council guide Glossary: CPRs - Consumer Protection Regulations UTCCRs - Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations AMLD – Anti-money laundering directive EA02 – Enterprise Act 2002 This diagram highlights which tools are available to OFT when addressing a variety of market failures.

7 The Office of Fair Trading What is a cartel? A cartel is an agreement between businesses not to compete with each other. The agreement is usually secret, verbal and often informal. Typically, cartel members may agree on: priceswhich customers they will supply output levelswhich areas they will supply discountswho should win a contract credit terms A Consumer Council guide

8 The Office of Fair Trading How the OFT benefits consumers the OFT improves the welfare of consumers by bringing about competitive and efficient markets tackling deceptive and coercive trading practices empowering consumers with the knowledge and skills they need to make rational and informed buying decisions. A Consumer Council guide

9 The Office of Fair Trading How the OFT benefits business when markets are working well, good businesses benefit too the wider economy also thrives as competitive markets encourage greater productivity and innovation. A Consumer Council guide

10 The Office of Fair Trading Consumer Initiatives The Consumer Codes Approval Scheme and local authority assured trader schemes work with businesses to ensure that consumers can identify trustworthy traders. These schemes help consumers to drive competitive businesses to provide high standards of goods and services. A Consumer Council guide

11 The Office of Fair Trading Scams Every year 3 million people in the UK lose money to mass marketed scams such as bogus lotteries; deceptive prize draws; get rich quick schemes and miracle health cures. The OFT work to raise awareness and organise a Scams Awareness Month every year in partnership with local authority Trading Standards Services. A Consumer Council guide Watch the Dont Let Them Con You DVD on the OFTs YouTube channel

12 The Office of Fair Trading For further information about how the OFT makes markets work well for consumers visit: A Consumer Council guide


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