News

ByQuantum Communications

Nicola Sturgeon – Scotland can be global HQ of ethical finance

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to deliver the keynote address at a world summit that will promote Scotland as the international home of ethical finance.

Ethical Finance 2019 will be hosted by the Scotland-based Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) in Edinburgh on October 8 and 9, bringing together over 300 senior representatives from more than 200 companies and organisations.

Ms Sturgeon will say Scotland can be the global headquarters of ethical finance, while there will also be a video address from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

GEFI works towards a fairer finance system for people and the planet, focusing on sustainability, climate change and social justice.
Ethical finance in the UK is valued at around £40billion, creating thousands of sustainable job opportunities.

Scotland has a long history of social enterprise with a growing reputation in ethical finance. The robust financial services sector in Scotland has strong ethical roots, and a reputation for innovation, research and development. It is a world leader in climate change and has an opportunity to build on this when Glasgow hosts the UN’s climate change summit, COP26, in 2020.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“Scotland’s approach to economic growth is centred on making sure that it is inclusive, sustainable and fair.
“Those same values are at the core of the global discussion on ethical finance, a discussion that has a natural home in Edinburgh the heart of Scotland’s thriving financial sector, with a long history and global reputation for innovation.
“Ethical Finance 2019 will bring financial leaders together to demonstrate the vital role finance will play in addressing the most pressing global challenges and creating positive change – and I look forward to taking part.”

Omar Shaikh, managing director of GEFI, said:
“Scotland has been a pioneer in financial innovation and the development of professional standards.
“The failure of trickle-down economics to fairly distribute wealth and encourage inclusive growth, the damaging impact on the planet of the unchecked pursuit of profit, and the banking scandals of the past decade means that ethical finance has never been more popular or needed.
“At this global summit we will explore how to create a better holistic system of financial management that delivers both profit and social returns, and positions Scotland as the global HQ of ethical finance.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

More information on the Global Ethical Finance Initiative is available here: https://www.globalethicalfinance.org/

More information on the summit, including details on tickets and speakers, is available here: https://www.globalethicalfinance.org/ethical-finance-week-2019/

What is the Global Ethical Finance Initiative?
The Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) oversees, organises and coordinates a series of programmes to promote finance for positive change.
It brings together the world’s business, political, and social leaders to build a fairer finance system for people and the planet.

What is ethical finance?
A fairer system of financial management that combines profit with better outcomes for people and the planet.
The full working definition of ethical finance:
A system of financial management or investment that seeks qualitative outcomes other purely the management of returns. Outcomes sought may reflect ideas from faith, environmental and governance theories.

Why does ethical finance matter?
Although ethical finance is not a new concept the financial crisis has led to a growing interest in sustainability, climate change and social justice. This has seen a collective desire to create a fairer, more inclusive and responsible global financial system.
Trust in banks is diminishing and today’s generation of consumers believes that investment decisions should reflect the issues they care about. Ethical finance in the UK is valued at around £40billion, creating thousands of sustainable job opportunities.
Today, with the world facing a climate emergency there is a pressing need to develop environmentally sustainable financial solutions.

ByQuantum Communications

Warning over bogus callers

We helped our client, consumeradvice.scot, target the media today to spread an important warning about bogus callers operating in Scotland.

We provide press releases that are ready-made news stories for journalists, using our expert knowledge of the media.

PRESS RELEASE

WARNING OVER BOGUS CALLERS IN SCOTLAND

Scots have been warned about bogus callers who are offering services such as landscape gardening in a bid to gain access to properties.
A ‘distraction burglary’ was recently reported at a home in Inverness where the occupant responded to a bogus leaflet offering landscape works. They invited workmen to attend and a robbery subsequently took place.
This is a popular time of the year for this kind of activity, with many householders keen to prepare their gardens for the autumn and considering jobs that need done before the weather turns.
Everyone in Scotland can receive free and confidential advice if they think they may have been approached by a bogus caller or want tips on what to look out for to ensure a service is legitimate.
consumeradvice.scot is the country’s new dedicated consumer advice service which provides advice, assistance and information to people on a range of consumer issues and concerns. The service can pass information to Trading Standards teams for investigation.
Anyone who has been the victim of a crime should report it to Police Scotland on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.

Lorna Yelland, team leader with consumeradvice.scot, said:
“Bogus callers and rogue traders are a problem all-year round, but offers of landscape gardening are particularly common at this time of year.
“It’s despicable that people are preying on householders like this, particularly vulnerable residents.
“The best advice is to not respond to unsolicited leaflets unless you are absolutely confident the service is legitimate and do not give away any information if a caller arrives at your door.
“Only use tradespeople you completely trust. Approved tradespeople leaflets are often distributed by local councils.
“Remember, most reputable traders don’t need to knock on doors to get work.
“Our advisers can offer tips on what to look out for to check that a service is legitimate.”

Fiona Richardson, chief executive of Trading Standards Scotland, said:
“We would always advise that you do not immediately contract with someone who cold calls you on the doorstep. Make sure you get several quotes before undertaking any work of this type and do ask friends and neighbours for recommendations.”

Chief Superintendent David Duncan, of Police Scotland’s Safer Communities, said:
“Bogus callers and rogue traders are indiscriminate and will call at any house they can, looking to con the occupant and line their own pockets.
“The more vulnerable in our society do continue to be the main target for these fraudsters and I would urge people to please look out for their elderly or otherwise vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours – but please also spare a thought for yourself. These criminals can be very plausible and persuasive and it can be easy to be taken in by them.
“There are simple steps you can take when a cold caller arrives at your door, such as using a door chain so as not to let them into your home, or checking their identity by independent means – but if you are concerned, please do not feel embarrassed to report this to police as it’s only by receiving these reports that we can build a picture of the fraudulent activity and take action. Genuine callers will expect you to be careful. Call 999 if you feel scared or intimidated.
“Please be alert – these criminals constantly move from place to place to carry out their con – bogus callers and rogue traders could, unfortunately, be found on a street near you but together we can bring down their criminal enterprise and keep our communities safe.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

consumeradvice.scot is operated by the charity Advice Direct Scotland. Consumers can seek help in a number of different ways: freephone 0808 164 6000; online and web chat at www.consumeradvice.scot; and email via advice@consumeradvice.scot

Consumer advisors can provide practical and impartial advice on how to resolve consumer problems, inform people of consumer laws which may apply to their situation, provide template letters which consumers can use to contact the trader or service provider they are having issues with, and pass relevant information onto Trading Standards for further investigation. They cannot make a complaint on an individual’s behalf or carry out any legal action on an individual’s behalf.

Contact: Alan Roden at alan@quantumcommunications.co.uk or 07753 904 531

ByQuantum Communications

Archbishop of Canterbury – investors must help avert climate crisis

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, has recorded a video for our client, the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI), ahead of this autumn’s world summit on ethical finance in Edinburgh.

We secured fantastic media coverage in The Guardian, Press Association, The Herald, The Ecologist, The National, Sunday Post, Yahoo News, The Yorkshire Post and many other titles.

More information on the summit, including details on tickets and speakers, is available here: https://www.globalethicalfinance.org/ethical-finance-week-2019/

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE GLOBAL ETHICAL FINANCE INITIATIVE

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY – INVESTORS MUST HELP AVERT CLIMATE CRISIS

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, has urged investors to help avert the climate crisis ahead of a global summit on ethical finance.

Archbishop Welby said the investment community has ‘not sufficiently stepped up to the plate’, and said it is in ‘investors’ power to help avert the disastrous consequences’ of failing to achieve the Paris climate change goals.

He has recorded a video for the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) ahead of this autumn’s world summit on ethical finance in Edinburgh, Scotland, which will bring together global leaders in business, politics, banking and investment to shape a fairer finance system.

The summit on October 8 and 9 is supported by the Scottish Government, and bodies represented will include the United Nations, the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority, RBS, Baillie Gifford and HSBC, with over 500 senior representatives from more than 200 companies and organisations in attendance.

Ethical finance is a fairer system of financial management that combines profit with better outcomes for people and the planet.

GEFI aims to make Scotland the global headquarters of ethical finance.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, said:

“Money is not morally neutral – it can do harm and it can do good.

“At the very least it is the responsibility of investors to take account of environmental, social and governance factors in their investment decisions and in their stewardship of their assets.

“At its best, ethical finance can drive positive change in the world, while still being responsible for its investors.

“It can ensure that while meeting investors’ risk return requirements, investments benefit people and planet.”

Addressing climate change, the Archbishop said ‘the investment community has not sufficiently stepped up to the plate’.

He said: “The situation we find ourselves in has rightly been called a climate emergency.

“We know it’s unquestionable that investors acting together can influence outcomes on everything, including climate change.

“It is in investors’ power to help avert the disastrous consequences – ethical and financial – of failing to achieve the Paris goals.

“Passive investment, with investment decisions controlled and influenced by the algorithms and index calculations, may be the right investment solution for many, but passive stewardship is the answer for no one.

“All investors can make a difference by engaging and voting determinably in support of the Paris Agreement.”

Omar Shaikh, managing director of GEFI, said:

“We need a fairer system of financial management that delivers more than just profit.

“Trust in banks is diminishing following the global crash and today’s generation of consumers – particularly millennials – believe that investment decisions should reflect the issues they care about, such as tackling climate change.

“Green finance solutions are needed in the face of a climate emergency.

“This global summit will explore how to create a better system of financial management that works for people and the planet.”

ByQuantum Communications

Used cars are most common issue for Scotland’s new consumer service

Complaints and queries about used cars are the most common issue handled by Scotland’s new national consumer service.

New figures for July show that an average of 12 people contacted consumeradvice.scot about a used car sale every day.

Buyers raised problems after purchasing vehicles relating to lights, oil leaks or engine failure.

There were also complaints about incorrect sales descriptions, enquiries about warranties, and discoveries that finance agreements remain in place from a previous owner.

Many customers were exasperated after multiple attempts to solve the problem with car dealers and sellers.

There were 364 queries related to used cars last month, with 4,946 contacts in total.

consumeradvice.scot, which was launched in April this year with Scottish Government funding following the devolution of further powers to Holyrood, provides free and impartial advice to people on any consumer issues.

Experts advise people of their legal rights, such as the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which includes a short-term right to reject goods of unsatisfactory quality within 30 days.

consumeradvice.scot can also refer complaints to Trading Standards Scotland for investigation, but cannot carry out legal action on a consumer’s behalf.

consumeradvice.scot team leader Lorna Yelland said:
“The new consumeradvice.scot service is handling tens of thousands of calls and online queries from consumers across Scotland, ranging from questions about building work to parking fines to furniture sales.
“But used cars have proved to be the most common issue raised this summer, with buyers not sure what to do if something goes wrong after buying a second-hand vehicle.
“The new consumeradvice.scot service is free for everyone in Scotland, regardless of circumstances, and experts are available to offer impartial advice.
“Consumers shouldn’t be left in the dark about their rights.”



NOTES TO EDITORS
consumeradvice.scot is operated by the charity Advice Direct Scotland. Consumers can seek help in a number of different ways: freephone 0808 164 6000; online and web chat at www.consumeradvice.scot; and email via advice@consumeradvice.scot

Consumer advisors can provide practical and impartial advice on how to resolve consumer problems, inform people of consumer laws which may apply to their situation, provide template letters which consumers can use to contact the trader or service provider they are having issues with, and pass relevant information onto Trading Standards for further investigation. They cannot make a complaint on an individual’s behalf or carry out any legal action on an individual’s behalf.

ByQuantum Communications

Making Scotland the global HQ of ethical finance

Our client, the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, was published in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper.

Read the article from managing director Omar Shaikh here.

The Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) oversees, organises and coordinates a series of programmes to promote finance for positive change. It brings together the world’s business, political, and social leaders to build a fairer finance system for people and the planet.

Do you want to increase the media profile of your organisation? We specialise in media affairs. Get in touch by emailing alan@quantumcommunications.co.uk

ByQuantum Communications

Edinburgh to host world summit on ethical finance

Edinburgh is to host the world summit on ethical finance, bringing together global leaders in business, politics and banking to shape a fairer finance system.

Ethical Finance 2019 will be hosted by the Scotland-based Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI), which oversees, organises and coordinates a series of programmes to promote finance for positive change.

Ethical finance is a fairer system of financial management that combines profit with better outcomes for people and the planet.

The summit on October 8 and 9 is supported by the Scottish Government, and bodies represented will include the United Nations, Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority, RBS, Baillie Gifford and HSBC.

It is the fourth time the summit has been staged in Edinburgh, and it will be attended by over 400 senior representatives from more than 200 companies and organisations from across the globe, including asset owners and managers, banks, regulators, multi-lateral agencies and academics.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said:
“Finance is essential to meet the challenges facing our society – from achieving more inclusive economic growth to tackling the global climate emergency. Real change will require a shift in mindset for businesses and governments.
“Edinburgh has long been a centre of financial expertise, and I am pleased that it is now leading the global conversation on the role of finance in society.”

Omar Shaikh, managing director of GEFI, said:
“This is a major global summit that brings together the world’s business, political, and social leaders to build a fairer finance system for people, prosperity and the planet.
“We need a fairer system of financial management that delivers more than just profit.
“Ethical finance matters for people because, over the years, trust in banks has diminished and today’s generation of consumers believes that investment decisions should reflect the issues they care about.
“It matters for prosperity because the ethical investment market is worth $25trillion and can create jobs and investment – particularly in Edinburgh – and it matters for the planet because green finance solutions are needed in the face of a climate emergency.
“Now successfully in its fourth year, the summit has established itself as the premier gathering for discussions on finance for positive change, making Edinburgh the HQ of the ethical finance world.”

Kirsty Britz, director of sustainable banking with RBS, said:
“We are delighted to be hosting this summit once again this year. Doing the right thing for our customers is at the heart of everything we do. In bringing together leaders from across the world we want to work across sectors and industries to embed sustainability in finance.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

More information on the summit, including details on tickets and speakers, is available here: https://www.globalethicalfinance.org/ethical-finance-week-2019/

ByQuantum Communications

New consumer service to challenge unfair and hidden delivery charges

Scotland’s new consumer service has joined forces with Highland Council Trading Standards to challenge unfair and hidden delivery charges.

The new consumeradvice.scot service, launched in April, is now providing free advice to consumers on delivery law and encouraging shoppers to report misleading advertising and sales tactics.

Consumers in Scotland’s remote and rural areas often discover hidden delivery charges added after purchase, or small-print delivery information that can be missed at the point of purchase.
According to the Office for National Statistics, rural areas accounted for one-in-six online purchases in the UK in 2017. However, people residing in these areas pay an average of approximately 30 per cent more for delivery than those elsewhere in the UK.

consumeradvice.scot is working with Highland Council Trading Standards to challenge these hidden and unfair charges, with the support of the Scottish Government.

Consumers can receive free advice and report incidents by contacting the new service, and consumeradvice.scot is then able to pass on incidents to Trading Standards for investigation.

consumeradvice.scot has received Scottish Government funding and provides advice to people on a range of issues, including buying products both online and in shops, changing mobile phone and internet providers, and dealing with rogue tradespeople.

To make the service more accessible, support can be accessed online through web chat, email or social media, as well as by calling a freephone number 0808 164 6000.

The Service is being run by the Glasgow and Stornoway-based charity Advice Direct Scotland.

Chris Cowles, adviser with consumeradvice.scot in Stornoway, said:
“As someone who lives on Lewis, I know that too many people living in remote and rural areas find online bargains have hidden charges or small-print delivery information that can be missed at the point of purchase.
“Changes to operational and organisational structures to address this problem will take time and considerable capital investment, but one immediate way forward is using consumer rights legislation to challenge misleading advertising and sales tactics.
“The new consumeradvice.scot service provides free, impartial and practical advice on shoppers’ rights and how to challenge these additional costs, and we encourage consumers to report instances to us where they believe they have been unfairly treated.”

Scottish Government Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said:
“I fully understand the frustration unfair delivery charges can cause. That’s why I launched the “Fairer Deliveries for All” action plan, which sets out practical steps the Scottish Government will take to tackle the issue – even though we do not have the powers to regulate in this area.
“consumeradvice.scot is funded by the Scottish Government to support consumers on a wide range of issues. It has been a valuable supporter of our work on parcel deliveries and I am glad to see it building partnerships with other organisations to ensure as many consumers as possible can get help when they need it.”

David MacKenzie, Trading Standards Manager with Highland Council Trading Standards Service, said:
“We have been fighting for fair delivery charges for rural Scots for several years now and are firm supporters of the Scottish Government’s Fairer Deliveries For All strategy. The new Scottish advice service has a key role in advising consumers of their rights when buying online and passing cases to Trading Standards to investigate. This complements the role of the UK-wide website www.deliverylaw.uk which provides a one-stop shop for consumers, businesses and practitioners on delivery law and is operated by the team at Highland Council Trading Standards.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

Consumers can seek help in a number of different ways.
Freephone: 0808 164 6000
Online and web chat: www.consumeradvice.scot
Email: advice@consumeradvice.scot

Consumeradvice.scot is operated by the charity Advice Direct Scotland and works in close partnership with Trading Standards staff in local authorities to improve the services that consumers receive.

Consumer advisors can:
• Provide practical and impartial advice on how to resolve your consumer problem
• Inform you of the consumer laws which may apply to your situation
• Provide template letters which consumers can use to contact the trader or service provider they are having issues with
• Pass relevant information onto Trading Standards for further investigation
Advisors cannot:
• Make a complaint on an individual’s behalf
• Carry out any legal action on an individual’s behalf

ByQuantum Communications

New advice column in the Daily Record

A regular new advice column starts today in the Daily Record, in conjunction with out client, Advice Direct Scotland.

The column appears in the newspaper’s new Life section, and includes answers to any consumer-related queries.

The questions answered in today’s edition are:

  1. My private landlord won’t fix the heating in my flat. What can I do?
  2. The builder I hired hasn’t finished the work agreed. What can I do?

We’re delighted to be working with Advice Direct Scotland, which provides free, independent advice to people across Scotland. Its innovative approach allows the organisation to engage with their customers by phone, SMS, web chat, email, online and social media. Its knowledge base makes significant use of AI and machine learning to ensure the information it provides is always up to date.

For more information on Advice Direct Scotland, visit www.advice.scot

ByQuantum Communications

Global finance leaders gather in Scotland to develop green solutions

Finance leaders from across the globe are meeting in Edinburgh to develop environmentally sustainable financial solutions.

Scotland has been chosen as the host country in recognition of its growing reputation as a leader in the ethical finance debate.

The two-day Finance for Nature Global Summit brings together Government officials, financial institutions, consumer goods corporations, supply chain intermediaries and conservation organisations to explore new investment ideas aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event has been arranged by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Scottish Government-backed Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI), together with the New York Declaration on Forests Global Platform, and is hosted by independent investment manager Baillie Gifford.

The summit comes after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the world is facing a climate emergency.

Recent weeks have seen a renewed sense of urgency in tackling climate change, following a visit to the UK by teenage activist Greta Thunberg and protests by environmental group Extinction Rebellion.

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Risks Report, half of the top global risks relate to the environment and climate change and have a material impact on a company’s operational costs, reputation, risk and profitability.

The SDGs, which reflect the aspirations of people around the world, provide a global framework for businesses and financial institutions to address these challenges.

With an estimated US$ 2.4trillion annual shortfall in the investment required to achieve the 2030 target there is an urgent need for private sector finance.

Despite growing interest, a fraction of the worldwide invested assets are currently aligned to the SDGs.

The Finance for Nature Global Summit will seek to develop and shape innovative financial instruments to mitigate complex risk, particularly from climate change.

The summit is part of a pioneering $1 million two-year programme of collaboration aimed at mobilising private capital for the SDGs that was announced by UNDP and Scottish Government in October 2018.

Participants include senior representatives from UNDP, Scottish / UK Governments, the ex finance minister of Costa Rica, leading corporates (including Tesco, Mars, Unilever, Nestle and Kering – Gucci/YSL), nature-aligned organisations (including WWF) and global financial institutions (including Aberdeen Standard, Baillie Gifford, Bank of Ireland, RBS, Barclays, Scottish Widows, and HSBC).

Omar Shaikh, founder of the Edinburgh-based Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI), said:
“Hosting this event in Scotland is recognition of our growing reputation as a leader in convening the ethical finance debate.
“By building finance-related partnerships in support of investments aligned with the UN’s sustainable development goals, we hope to demonstrate genuine impact and address the biggest challenge facing the world today.”

Andrew Cave, Head of Governance and Sustainability at Baillie Gifford, said:
“As long-term investors, we understand the importance of considering sustainability issues in the investment process. Therefore, we are delighted to support this important event.”

Jamison Ervin, the UNDP’s Global Programme on Nature for Development Manager said:
“The recent UN report on nature issued a clarion call regarding our global biodiversity crisis. This summit helps us understand how private sector capital can accelerate nature-friendly growth while also catalysing an inclusive and sustainable future. We need a new economic model, and where better to look for this model than Scotland.”

NOTES

Global Ethical Finance Initiative – www.globalethicalfinance.org
The Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) oversees, organises and coordinates a series of global programmes and initiatives to promote finance for positive change around the world. Along with delivering practical projects, GEFI annually hosts in Edinburgh the premier platform that convenes the world’s foremost business, political, civic and social leaders of society to network, share, co-develop and shape a fairer, more sustainable financial system.

UNDP – www.undp.org
Healthy ecosystems are at the heart of development, underpinning societal well-being and economic growth. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through its work in nearly 170 countries and territories, creates nature-friendly solutions that balance two imperatives: secure, restore and sustainably manage natural resources, while also protecting the environment that enables human life to flourish.

Scottish Government – www.gov.scot
In 2015 Scotland was one of the first countries in the world to sign up to adopting the SDGs. With the SDGs now embedded into the country’s National Performance Framework the Scottish Government is leading by example through its focus on wellbeing, and sustainable and inclusive economic growth. The Principles provide a framework which align well with the tradition of the Scottish banking industry which over the past two centuries pioneered movements focused on alignment, stewardship and governance.

The New York Declaration on Forests Global Platform – www.NYDFglobalplatform.org
The New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) outlines ten ambitious global targets to protect and restore forests and end natural forest loss by 2030. The NYDF has been endorsed by 200 countries, sub-national governments, companies, indigenous peoples and NGOs. In 2017, the Global Platform for the New York Declaration on Forests was launched to support endorsers and accelerate achievement of the global goals expressed in the New York Declaration on Forests.

ByQuantum Communications

New consumer advice service

PRESS RELEASE

New consumer advice service launched

A new online and telephone consumer advice service has been launched as a result of £600,000 Scottish Government funding.
Consumeradvice.scot provides advice to people on a range of issues, including buying products both online and in shops, changing mobile phone and internet providers, and purchasing travel insurance.
To make the service more accessible, support can be accessed online through web chat, email or social media, as well as by calling a freephone number 0808 164 6000.
The Service is being run by the Advice Direct Scotland charity, and Business Minister Jamie Hepburn visited the charity’s contact centre in Glasgow to launch the service.

Jamie Hepburn said:
“The new consumer advice service will give the people of Scotland access to advice that matters to them. Whether they’re experiencing issues with a used car they’ve purchased, a holiday booking they’ve faced problems with, or a trader who has been working on their properties the new service is there to help.
“We are using Scotland’s devolved consumer powers to provide a flexible service which protects and empowers the people of Scotland while supporting businesses which are innovative, efficient and fair.”

Pamela Stewart, deputy CEO of Advice Direct Scotland, said:
“We want to provide all citizens of Scotland with practical consumer advice and information which makes a difference and remains completely free to use.
“Accessing advice that people need shouldn’t cost them a penny. We operate Freephone number 0808 164 6000 to ensure nobody is left out of pocket, whether they are phoning from a landline or a mobile.
“But if people would prefer to send us a quick message on Facebook or they fancy a web chat with one of our friendly advisors, we have a range of other options to get in touch.”

Faye Wilson, from the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS), said:
“It’s vital that the public have access to advice and information when they are faced with consumer problems. It is also important that local authority trading standards services work with Advice Direct Scotland to ensure that the intelligence gleaned from the experiences of consumers can be used to protect the public and legitimate businesses from unfair trading and unsafe products. The Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland looks forward to working with the new service.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Photos from the launch can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/news/new-consumer-advice-service-launched/

Consumers can seek help in a number of different ways.
Freephone: 0808 164 6000
Web chat: www.consumeradvice.scot
Email: advice@consumeradvice.scot
Online: www.consumeradvice.scot
Social media: Facebook (m.me/advice.scot2)

The new service funded by Scottish Government began taking calls in April and is currently handling around 250 enquiries every day, with the most common queries relating to used cars, furniture sales, building work, package holidays and insurance.

Consumeradvice.scot is operated by the charity Advice Direct Scotland and it works in close partnership with Trading Standards staff in local authorities to combat illegal traders and improve the services that consumers receive.

Consumer advisors can:
• Provide practical and impartial advice on how to resolve your consumer problem
• Inform you of the consumer laws which may apply to your situation
• Provide template letters which consumers can use to contact the trader or service provider they are having issues with
• Pass relevant information onto Trading Standards for further investigation

Advisors cannot:
• Make a complaint on an individual’s behalf
• Carry out any legal action on an individual’s behalf

Contact: Flavia Paterson at flavia@quantumcommunications.co.uk or 07825 335 732

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