SCOTS are far more concerned about the consequence of Brexit than the rest of the UK, a new report from the consumer watchdog Which? has revealed.

The group said the study demonstrates that Scots showed a greater level of concern about consumer issues than those in the rest of the UK.

It also said the research showed there was a need for the Scottish Government to make full use of its recently devolved consumer powers by setting up a new statutory organisation to support consumers.

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The Which? Scottish Consumer Insight Report 2016 reveals that Brexit is of greater consumer concern in Scotland than in the rest of the UK, with 52 percent worried compared to 38 percent in the rest of the UK.

Scots were also more concerned about energy (67 percent) and fuel prices (64 percent) than in the rest of the UK (56 percent and 55 percent).

The biggest worry in Scotland was over public spending cuts (74 percent), with worries about interest rate on savings (67 per cent) and daily essentials such as fuel and energy prices following closely behind (64 percent and 67 per cent).

The study found that the most distrusted industry sectors in Scotland were car dealers (59 percent), those selling long-term financial products (38 percent) and energy companies and day-to-day banking (36 percent).

Water businesses (68 percent) were the most trusted, followed by the food and grocery sector and technology appliances sellers (62 percent).


Its consumer snapshot also showed that eight of the ten most financially distressed constituencies in Scotland were in Glasgow. Top of the pile was Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn, followed by Glasgow Southside, Glasgow Provan, Glasgow Anniesland and Glasgow Cathcart.

The least financial distressed areas were the Western Isles, Orkney, Aberdeenshire West, Shetland, Aberdeenshire East and Eastwood.

The report shows that just a quarter (23%) of Scottish households have switched their energy supplier in the last five years.

This echoes the recent Competition and Markets Authority energy market investigation that highlighted a UK-wide problem with people being stuck on the wrong tariff or not able to switch. The Competition and Markets Authority found that this issue is worse in Scotland.

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And many Scots don't know where to go for help when they experience a problem with their energy provider, with one in five (21 percent) of those experiencing problems deciding not to take action.

In other areas like broadband, around four in ten (44 percent) households experienced service problems in the last two years, and two in five said they took no action to try to resolve it. The most common reason for this was feeling it wasn’t worth the effort to complain (31 percent of those who took no action thought this).

Vickie Sheriff, director of campaigns and communications at Which?, said: “Our research shows that many people in Scotland are experiencing problems with their essential services but many don't go, or don’t know where to go, to get help or advice.

“The Scottish Government has been given new powers and they present a real opportunity for ministers to be ambitious in the way they are used to benefit consumers."

Which? commissioned YouGov to conduct an online survey of 1007 Scots between August 18 and 23 to establish what it called a broader picture of the Scottish consumer for the report.