Coronavirus: CTSI convenes roundtable on COVID-19 issues
Recognising the range of significant issues for consumers and business emerging from the COVID-19 crisis, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has taken the proactive step to convene a series of virtual roundtables with key consumer protection partners and stakeholders from consumer, business and regulator perspectives. Representatives from CTSI, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), NTS Scams, Moneysavingexpert.com, Citizens Advice (CitA), the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Which?, and Resolver have so far taken part.
CTSI Head of Policy, Sarah Caughey, said: "The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in new and evolving challenges for consumers, businesses and regulators in the UK – many of which will have implications for the months ahead. CTSI is convening this virtual roundtable with key stakeholders to discuss the shared context of the COVID-19 crisis and to seek a path through these circumstances.
"The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in wide-ranging implications across every aspect of our society, indeed the world at large. The ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis will endure long beyond our current context. The UK, along with the rest of the world, will look to recover, learn and apply crucial lessons for future contingency planning.”
Participants are in agreement on the value and impact of coming together in this forum to engage in discussions on the key issues while recognising that there may be some challenging discussions to be had. There is support across the group to find opportunities for co-operation and collaboration on approaches to tackle the pressing issues in the unique circumstances of the pandemic. Key issues on the agenda include price gouging, new COVID-19-related scams, cancellations and refunds.
CTSI Chief Executive, Leon Livermore, said: "This unprecedented situation is having, and will continue to have, significant consequences for businesses, consumers and regulators, and the UK economy as a whole. In such circumstances, engagement and communication are vital. By working together, we will be able to identify effective responses to tackle the issues in this challenging context.
"We cannot know how long this crisis will endure. Therefore, it is critical that we engage in discussions about how consumers, businesses, regulators and the Government can work together to address and balance the issues arising from this challenging and evolving context in which we all share. In doing so, we can secure the best possible protections and outcomes – to address the practices of those who would seek to take advantage of the current circumstances, and also to look ahead towards the path to recovery. These discussions should be ongoing, and CTSI hopes that our virtual roundtable meeting provides a vehicle for them."
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Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)
CTSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally. We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.
CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.uk