Evidence of TS Impact
At least £347 million a year of consumers' money is saved by the work of trading standards officers across the country.
New figures released by the Office of Fair Trading reveal that for every £1 trading standards services spend on busting rogue traders and businesses breaking the law with unfair practices, £6 worth of savings are delivered to the consumer.
The overall figure of £347million includes:
* an estimated saving of at least £228m a year delivered by TSS through tackling unfair trading practices. This includes actions against traders providing goods and services without reasonable care and skill, misleading claims and omissions, aggressive and coercive selling or unfair contract terms
* an estimated saving of at least £119million a year delivered by TSS advice and assistance to consumers.
This is a first time the financial impact of this work has been evaluated.
Ron Gainsford, TSI's chief executive, said: 'This report could not be more timely and helpful. I am delighted that the OFT has so ably demonstrated with clear economic evidence the fantastic but so often understated job that trading standards professionals and services do for people, businesses, local communities and the country.
'Our members are hugely dedicated to fairness and resolved to taking those that wilfully prey on vulnerable consumers out of the market.
'The OFT has demonstrated that the return on the investment made in the UK trading standards workforce is significant. Now it is up to my trading standards colleagues and local authorities to make full and effective use of this OFT report and the methods it recommends to further evidence the real added value they provide to communities across the country.'
'At this time of economic stress it is important that trading standards professionals in all sectors are supported. Making the most of the resources we have while securing added capacity to further increase our positive impact consumers and businesses is a must.
The complete OFT Trading Standards Impact evaluation document can be found at http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/about_oft/oft1085.pdf