Responding to Government’s announcement of new process for ‘super complaints’ regarding financial services, Gareth Thomas MP, chair of Co-operative Party said:

“Any boost to the collective power of consumers is welcome but today’s announcement only covers financial services.  We know from experience that the financial services sector is not the only one that consumers need greater powers to challenge.  Energy companies, mobile phone operators, letting agents are other examples of sectors where consumers are getting a poor deal and need a stronger voice.

“That is why the Co-operative Party – Labour’s sister party – has been calling for a single consumer tsar with US-style powers to prosecute class-action cases against companies accused of ripping off customers.  It is estimated that consumers are losing around £3.3bn every year to companies through misleading and aggressive sales practices alone.  If markets are to be fair and to work for everybody, then consumers need to be properly protected from poor service and rip-off behaviour. A single, independent ombudsman would help to enforce the standards all of us as consumers should have a right to expect.”