Citizens Advice consumer advice and advocacy annual report 2022-2023
The last year has seen unprecedented demand for Citizens Advice services. Despite some signs that price rises are now easing, the first months of 2023 still set new records for the numbers of people coming to us for help. As they do so, we’re finding people’s incomes are now all too often insufficient to cover essential services, meaning a cost-of-living crisis threatens to turn into a debt timebomb for many households. Consumers are faced with ever tougher choices.
This means that the need for our advice and advocacy on consumer protection is more pronounced than ever. At a time when millions of people are living on empty, any money wasted through mis-selling, poor quality, or overcharging is unacceptable. Making consumer markets work - particularly for people from marginalised groups - is a key part of how we can address the cost-of-living crisis.
At Citizens Advice, our consumer service has been supporting people to understand their rights and resolve problems for more than a decade. The data and insights we collect from the service helps drive consumer protection activity through work with national and local partners. And our advocacy looks to address the underlying problems driving consumer harm.
Despite a challenging backdrop, this report highlights how we’re continually anticipating and meeting client need and expanding to meet rising demand, mostly driven by high energy prices. We’ve had significant impact for consumers over the last year, whether that be in tackling firms’ overcharging of loyal customers to highlighting the forced installation of prepayment meters. This is testament to all the staff involved in consumer advice and advocacy at Citizens Advice.
Dame Clare Moriarty, CEO Citizens Advice