Intervening in the market

We expect market participants to take responsibility for managing risks affecting people’s trust and confidence in their services and the market. We also expect market participants to take responsibility for complying with the market codes, their licence obligations and competition law. We expect that customers will engage with the market and take advantage of the opportunities offered by an open market either directly or through third party intermediaries.

However, there may be times when we will need to intervene. Before doing so we will carefully consider whether we are best placed to do so, or whether others would be better placed to act. We will also consider carefully which of our tools, including both formal and informal, competition or regulatory, we should use. We will weigh up any short-term benefits of us taking action against the longer-term benefits of letting the market develop organically, so market participants can learn through experience how best to engage with and drive competition among providers.

We will also keep our market codes under review to make sure that, as the market develops, those codes remain fit for purpose and do not contain elements acting inadvertently as a barrier to effective competition.

Over time, as the market develops, we expect to strike a balance between:

  • formal decisions that establish relevant and helpful precedents in the sector; and
  • informal action that potentially resolves concerns effectively, more quickly and proportionately for customers and market participants.

Our published guidance on our casework strategy, our approach to enforcement and in relation to our concurrency powers our competition law guidance, provide further information on how we will approach such instances.

Our risk-based approach helps us to make sure that we do our job in a proportionate and targeted way –minimising the regulatory burden but still looking at the high risk areas.