The Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS) has published a report revealing that the scheme now has almost 80,000 business members and has helped to recover more than £3.5m for consumers in 2021, which is a rise of £1.5m or 75% over the previously reported figure (£2m).
The CCAS scheme is estimated to protect £113bn in consumer spending annually – a rise of £16bn, or 16.5% over the previous year’s report (£97bn). Some thought that the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown would negatively impact the scheme and its membership; however, the scheme demonstrated its resilience by growing its protective influence on the consumer marketplace.
Last month, the Government published the Consumer Protection Study 2022. The study revealed that 36 million consumers (69%) experienced at least one problem with a product resulting in stress, monetary loss, or wasting their time. These losses are equivalent to £54.2 billion, demonstrating the increasing importance of schemes that limit consumer detriment, like CCAS.
CCAS promotes codes of practice for different industries which meet core criteria, raising the quality of their services. CTSI administers the scheme to improve UK business practices and create a better commercial environment for businesses and consumers alike. The scheme has 23 approved codes of practice covering several industries and 18 code sponsors.
CCAS Chair, Lord Lindsay, said: “This excellent news demonstrates the strength of the scheme and the belief that businesses have in it. With the cost of living crisis and many other challenges facing the public, confronting consumer detriment is a cornerstone of economic recovery.
“I am proud of the role CCAS plays in improving outcomes for consumers and businesses alike while increasing consumer confidence at a time when it is under threat from multiple factors.”
Sue Steward, Head of Client & Commissioning at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), said: “Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme continues to go from strength to strength. Its growing influence in the business community demonstrates its suitability for improving business processes.
“The UK Government’s latest Consumer Protection Study released this month indicates the growing need for schemes like CCAS which help lower consumer detriment. We look forward to further growth over the next year and increasing its influence within the UK’s consumer protection architecture.”
The full report can be downloaded here.