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The Office of Fair Trading

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A Consumer Council guide to:
The Office of Fair Trading
The Office of Fair Trading
www.oft.gov.uk
A Consumer Council guide
About
OFTTrading
The Office
ofthe
Fair
The OFT’s 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.
www.oft.gov.uk
A Consumer Council guide
TheOFT
Office
of Fair
The
pursues
theseTrading
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
www.oft.gov.uk
A Consumer Council guide
How
the
OFT
works
Office of Fair Trading
The
• The OFT is a non-ministerial government department
established by statute in 1973.
• 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.
www.oft.gov.uk
A Consumer Council guide
The
Office
of
Fair
Trading
Different
approaches
used by the
OFT
A Consumer Council guide
This diagram highlights
which tools are available to
OFT when addressing a
variety of market failures.
Glossary:
CPRs - Consumer
Protection Regulations
UTCCRs - Unfair
Terms in Consumer
Contract Regulations
AMLD – Anti-money
laundering directive
EA02 – Enterprise Act
2002
A Consumer Council guide
The Office
ofaFair
Trading
What is
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:
prices
which customers they will supply
output levels
which areas they will supply
discounts
who should win a contract
credit terms
A Consumer Council guide
Thethe
Office
of Fairconsumers
Trading
How
OFT benefits
• 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.
www.oft.gov.uk
A Consumer Council guide
The
Fair business
Trading
How Office
the OFT of
benefits
• when markets are working well, good businesses benefit too
• the wider economy also thrives as competitive markets
encourage greater productivity and innovation.
www.oft.gov.uk
A Consumer Council guide
Consumer
Initiatives
Office of Fair Trading
The
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.
www.oft.gov.uk
A Consumer Council guide
The OfficeScams
of Fair Trading
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.
Watch the �Don’t Let Them Con You’ DVD on the OFT’s
YouTube channel
A Consumer Council guide
The Office of Fair Trading
For further information about how the OFT makes
markets work well for consumers visit:
www.oft.gov.uk
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