The Trading Standards Institute and The Competition and Marketing Authority are the regulatory bodies that enforce consumer protection and regulation. Individual advice to consumer queries and complaints are handled by The Citizens Advice Consumer Service. The Financial Conduct Authority is responsible for the regulation of consumer credit firms.

The Trading Standards Institute represents Trading Standards professionals in the UK, and overseas, in local authorities, business and consumer sectors and in central government.

There are approximately 200 Trading Standards offices around the United Kingdom, provided by local authorities and in Northern Ireland by central government. Whilst they all provide the same basic services, protecting consumers and helping and encouraginglegitimate businesses, they vary in the range of services and manner in which they deliver them.

To find local Trading Standards Office, click here.

Trading Standards work with consumers and businesses to maintain fair trading and safety of consumer goods but does not give individual consumer advice. This is provided by the Citizens Advice Consumer Service.

More information is available at the following links:

The Citizens Advice Consumer Service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on ALL consumer issues.

You can contact The Citizens Advice consumer service at by clicking this link or by calling their Adviceline (England): 0800 144 8848 or Advicelink (Wales): 0800 702 2020 

Which? Consumer Rights is a completely free consumer rights site providing independant advice on all consumer problems including:

If you are in the UK and having a problem with a trader based in another European country you can get advice and support from the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) which is hosted by the Trading Standards Institute.

To get general advice follow this link to the UK ECC Shopping Online.

The Competition and Marketing Authority (CMA) is a not-for-profit and non-ministerial government department of the United Kingdom responsible for strengthening business competition and preventing and reducing anti-competitive activities.

The CMA replaced the Competition Commission and Office of Fair Trading from 1st April 2014.

The CMA deals with market issues like ensuring bank charges are reasonable, will a merger give a company too big a market share, are the supermarkets operating a cartel as well as overseeing and coordinating the local trading standards services.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a regulatory body in the United Kingdom that regulates the conduct of financial firms providing services to consumers including the regulation of consumer credit and maintains the integrity of the UK’s financial markets.

The FCA have brought in new rules, known as the Consumer Duty, which set a higher standard of consumer protection in financial services. The Duty means you should get: the support you need, when you need it. communications you understand. products and services that meet your needs and offer fair value.

Further information on the Consumer Duty is available at the following links:

The FCA Consumer Helpline offers impartial information and general guidance

The Ombudsman Service is available to resolve disputes between the consumers and retailers/suppliers.

If you are not happy with the outcome of a complaint you have made to a company about goods or services, you may be able to ask an ombudsman to deal with it.

Using the ombudsman is free for consumers but traders have to pay.

A complete guide is available at the MAG Section - THE OMBUDSMAN

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