10 October 2016
Following the European Union (EU) Referendum, Nationwide Building Society has established a Brexit Consumer Support Panel which brings together leading consumer industry organisations to address the challenges facing consumers as the UK’s relationship with the EU evolves.
The panel, chaired by Nationwide Chief Executive Joe Garner, will provide insights to Government into consumer attitudes and behaviors in relation to Brexit and will help to promote positive outcomes for consumers as the renegotiation process is progressed.
Panel representatives include:
- Joe Garner, Panel Chair, Nationwide Building Society
- James Daley, Fairer Finance
- Matthew Upton, Citizens Advice
- Guy Anker, Money Saving Expert
- Chris Lowe, ASDA
- Ben Page, Ipsos MORI
Initial findings1 from the panel revealed that while consumer confidence seems to have remained steady over the Summer, Britain’s future relationship with the EU is seen as one of the most important issues facing the country alongside terrorism, the NHS and immigration control. While the EU is clearly top of mind for many consumers some uncertainty exists about how aspects of day-to-day life will be impacted during and after the renegotiation process.
Joe Garner, Nationwide CEO said: “Through this time, the business community has the opportunity to represent and protect the interests and ambitions of its customers and employees, taking a long-term view of what is right for them and their families. In what promises to be a complex debate over the coming years, this panel is designed to provide the key consumer insights from across the country to the Government throughout the negotiation process.
“While the impact on the economy following the outcome of the vote remains unclear, we have already extensively researched consumer attitudes and will be sharing these with the Government privately. However, our initial insights reveal that the primary consumer concern just now is a fear of the costs of goods and services increasing. Beyond this, what is preoccupying consumers at the moment are very practical and immediate concerns such as; will my EHIC health card still be valid? Can I still get data roaming on mobiles within Europe and will we still be in the European Champion’s League?
“The organisations represented on this panel have millions of members, customers and employees across the UK, bringing a real insight into the levels of confidence around the country and we look forward to working with the Government over the coming months to better understand the challenges households face.”
At the first panel discussion in September the group discussed the initial research findings and proposed continued dialogue with businesses and the Government as the negotiation process progresses, additional communication to people across the country on the potential practical everyday impacts of Brexit and further steps to safeguard important consumer rights.
The panel will meet quarterly, examining consumer confidence as the negotiations unfold, publishing updates on the state of consumer confidence across the nation and the steps the Government and responsible organisations can take to ensure long-term stability.