Happy 2015 everyone. I hope you achieved all of your aspirations in 2014. As you helped us achieve a number of our goals, we thought we’d kick off the New Year reflecting on the key changes we achieved together.
We’ve done some tallying up and worked out that you’ve helped us achieve 52 key changes this year. That’s a win a week – helping us keep up the pressure on all our campaigns and show decision makers that we have the power to make change happen.
With your input, we took your concerns to 300 top decision makers – ranging from politicians, regulators or companies CEOs.
Our 278,000 supporters have signed an impressive 600,000 petitions or taken other actions in support of our campaigns – from reporting nuisance calls to writing to your MPs to tackle mortgage fees.
Capping pensions charges
At the start of the year we secured a 0.75% cap on pension charges in a move that the pension minister Steve Webb described as a ‘full frontal assault’ on the pensions market.
More than 15,000 people signed their name in support of our campaign and 7,000 people shared their views on the pensions market. This feedback was compiled into a dossier of evidence and submitted to the Department of Work and Pensions to ensure the Government considered the views of those the changes will affect when setting the cap.
In March, Ofgem announced that it was referring the energy market for a full scale competition inquiry – a significant move and one we’d been calling for. It is now make or break time for the energy suppliers, who should not wait to be forced into action but take action now to put customers first, keep costs as low as possible and trade transparently.
In June, a new law came into force which bans companies from using numbers that charge more than the basic rate for their customer service or complaints lines. Nearly 90,000 people provided their support for this campaign – and it was your comments and concerns that prompted us to ensure the laws covered all companies and contacts you might need to call.
Stop sneaky fees and charges
With the horsemeat scandal dominating the headlines and our work in 2013, we were keen to ensure preventative action was taken in 2014. This came to fruition when in September, the Government responded to Professor Chris Elliott’s review by setting up a new Food Crime Unit.
In November, we called on the Chancellor to use his Autumn Statement to Stop Sneaky Fees and Charges on mortgages and make it easier for people to find the best deal. More than 45,000 people signed our petition and 3,000 emailed their MP to ask the Chancellor to take action.
The Chancellor confirmed in his 2014 Autumn Statement that we’ll be working with the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) to determine practical solutions to end mortgage confusion for consumers.
We’re committed to our work on the core issues that affect people – from the financial sector, energy market, supermarkets and telecoms providers – but we’re always open to new ideas. What campaigns would you like to see us work on in 2015?