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Press releases 2012 -

OFT consults on Annual Plan priorities

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115/12    28 November 2012

The OFT is seeking comments on its Annual Plan 2013-14 consultation, published today alongside its Strategic Assessment of Risks to UK Consumers and Markets.

The consultation sets out the OFT's proposed objectives and priorities over the next financial year, its fortieth and final year before the transfer of functions to the Consumer and Markets Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority. The OFT intends to continue to focus on work to make markets work well for consumers and the wider economy, alongside ensuring a rich portfolio of cases is handed over to the new institutions.

The proposed areas of focus are informed by the OFT's first published Strategic Assessment, which identifies key developments and trends in the macro-economic, regulatory, political and social environment - such as economic challenges, demographic change and technological advances. It considers risks to consumers and markets in this context, taking into account the probability of problems arising and impact, should they occur.

During 2013-14, the OFT plans to prioritise work that reflects the following themes:

  • vulnerable consumers and consumers challenged by the adverse economic climate
  • pricing used as a barrier to fair choice
  • novel and developing markets and business practices
  • public services markets
  • closer working with the economic regulators.

These priorities have been developed in the context of a challenging economic climate and are designed to maximise impact against the backdrop of a reduced OFT budget.

OFT Chairman, Philip Collins, said:

'In the coming financial year, we will remain focused on delivering outcomes that matter for the consumer and the economy, while also preparing the ground for the transfer of the OFT's functions and the establishment of the new institutions. Publishing our Strategic Assessment of Risks alongside the Annual Plan consultation makes clear the thinking behind our choice of themes and priorities.'

The consultation on the Annual Plan will be open until 6 February 2013.

NOTES

  1. Download the consultation document from the Annual Plan 2013-2014 consultation page.
  2. Download the OFT Strategic Assessment of Risks to UK Consumers and Markets from the Strategic Assessment page.
  3. Some of the OFT's consumer functions will transfer in March 2013 so are not in scope for the 2013-14 Annual Plan. More detail on these functions is set out in Annexe A of the consultation document.
  4. The Strategic Assessment of Risks to UK Consumers and Markets has been developed to assist the OFT in selecting its work. It informs the priorities set out in the Annual Plan and will assist the OFT's leadership in making decisions on prioritisation. It identifies risks to consumers and markets, emerging risks and potential risks that may occur in the future.



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