August 28, 2020

Exploring Regulatory Approaches to Consumer Vulnerability

CPRC was engaged by the AER to investigate the emerging approaches to regulation and policy design for consumer vulnerability. Our report sets out opportunities for essential service market stewards to adopt a more inclusive approach to supporting all consumers.

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Summary

This report reviews current regulatory approaches to consumer vulnerability in Australia and the UK, focusing on markets for essential services such as energy, banking and insurance, telecommunications and water, and the work of multi-sector regulators such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The report explores the often collaborative nature of consumer vulnerability measures, discussing examples of joint work by regulators, industry, civil society and government to improve customer service and care, analyse vulnerability risks, enable expert advice in specialist areas such as family violence and mental health, and identify customers in vulnerable circumstances.

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