Regulating to protect consumers - Transcript

Title: Charles Nancarrow, Director, National Audit Office

Date: 20 March 2019

My name is Charles Nancarrow. I’m a director at the National Audit Office and today’s report is called regulating to protect consumers.

Today’s report looks at the regulators of energy, telecoms, financial services and water. The regulators’ role is to protect consumers from things like unfair price rises or from not being able to find the best deal that’s available.

The findings from today’s report are that consumers face a number of common issues across these areas. They’re struggling to afford bills, particularly in gas, electricity and water for example where there have been price rises in the last 5 to 10 years and consumers struggle to find the best available deal. That’s a particular problem for the more vulnerable consumers, so more elderly consumers and those from more deprived backgrounds, and also we find that the regulators don’t know what type of interventions work best to support these consumers.

The key recommendations from the report are that regulators need to be much clearer about the outcomes they’re seeking to achieve for consumers, so consumers know what to expect from their suppliers and also, they will know whether the regulators are doing a good job or not.

If you’d like more information on this report read it online.