UK: new behavioural unit inside the CMA, to protect consumers

The UK’s competition regulator is setting up a “behavioural hub” as it seeks to strengthen its credentials as a consumer champion. The Competition and Markets Authority will announce on Tuesday the establishment of a unit that will draw on economics, data and behavioural science to boost the watchdog’s understanding of consumer issues.

Andrea Coscelli, CMA chief executive, said the move was part of the watchdog’s desire to beef up its role in punishing companies that rip off consumers and move away from its old technocratic image. “If we want to keep our legitimacy and licence to operate, it is very important that we are perceived not as a technocratic and insular institution but as [an agency] who is involved in markets, understands what consumers are going through and fights for them,” he told the Financial Times ahead of a speech in London on Tuesday. (…)

“We are saying if you allowed us to provide a more efficient administrative system and have fining powers, with the same amount of funding we have today, we could materially increase the number of cases,” he told the FT.”

Source: Financial Times


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