The OFT closed on 01 April 2014, with its responsibilities passing to a number of different organisations including the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Financial Conduct Authority.
What is the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)?
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) acts as the UK’s ‘economic regulator’ through its main objectives of ensuring consumer protection and competition law within the UK. The OFT is a non-ministerial governmental department that was established following the Fair Trading Act 1973.
The OFT’s mission is to safeguard consumers choice across the entire marketplace and in all sectors through ensuring that all markets work in healthy, fair and open competition with each other for the consumers custom.
This principle of the OFT is carried out by:
- Encouraging and ensuring that all businesses work and comply with competition and consumer laws
- Swiftly stopping any offenders to the competition and consumer laws
- Encouraging businesses to improve their practices through self-regulation
- Given consumers the information and ability to make an informed decision thus enabling them to the get the best value
- Actively studying all markets and recommending any changes if required
The OFT achieves these aims and targets working relationships with others. These include:
- Competition Commission
- Other sector regulators
- Local Authority Trading Standards Services
- European Commission
- Businesses throughout all markets
The OFT has a duty to protect the interests of consumers by monitoring the fitness of those holding or applying for a consumer credit license.