New Consumer Powers for the Competition and Markets Authority

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Monday, July 1st, 2019

The Consumer Council has welcomed the announcement that the Competition and Markets Authority is set to be given tough new powers to fine firms for poor business behavior.

The government announced a consultation exercise which should result in the competition watchdog being given powers to issue direct fines upon businesses who break consumer law.



It is a move which would help tackle the loyalty penalty and practices such as subscription traps and unfair cancellation charges.

Scott Kennerley, Director of Financial Services said, “It is right that businesses should be penalised when their practices harm consumers.

“We welcome these changes and work with government and industry regulators to highlight the needs of Northern Ireland consumers, especially in areas where the markets in Northern Ireland are significantly different.



“Our latest research shows that only 62% of Northern Ireland consumers shop around for car insurance; 48% shop around for home insurance; 45% shop around for internet / broadband services; and 42% shop around for mobile phone services.

“We will be responding to the consultation on the changes announced in order to ensure that the voice of Northern Ireland consumers is heard.

He added, “We also continue to encourage consumers to shop around through a range of simple tools and guides on our website”



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