CMA Takes Action To Support Vulnerable People

The CMA is today hosting a major conference on how better to support vulnerable people in getting the most possible from efficient, competitive markets

Competition and Markets Authority

Competition and Markets Authority

The conference forms part of the CMA’s commitment to explore challenges for the vulnerable in the UK, particularly in response to the growth of digital markets.

Andrew Tyrie, Chair of the CMA, said:

Companies and traders across the UK need to know that if they’re ripping people off, and exploiting the vulnerable, the CMA may be round to see them.

It has already been accepted, in principle, that the CMA’s powers need to be bolstered, including giving us the power to fine firms if they break consumer protection law.

And if it turns out that we still don’t have all the powers we need, we will ask for them.

All options are on the table. That includes more vigorous enforcement, tough market wide intervention and legislative change. Staying where we are is not an option.

As part of a re-examination of the CMA’s legislative framework, I have asked for further work to be done on how the regime could be strengthened better to protect the vulnerable.

Helping vulnerable people is one of the CMA’s strategic priorities in its Annual Plan for 2018/19 and also a priority for the Government, as set out in its Modernising Consumers Markets Green Paper.

The CMA is undertaking a programme of work on supporting vulnerable people. It will publish a final report later this year, which will draw on findings from the conference, a series of roundtables and targeted research. This includes looking at the poverty premium – the extent to which those on low incomes may pay more for the same goods and services than those on higher incomes.

The work will help inform the CMA’s future case selection, its analysis of markets and the development of remedies to consumer problems.

Notes to Editors

Media enquiries should be directed to press@cma.gov.uk or 020 3738 6460.