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Friday, July 18, 2014

Inquiry Into Britain's Banking Industry

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recommended a full inquiry into Britain's banking industry, after a study found current account services and SME lending "lack effective competition".

The CMA said switching between banks remains low, meaning “very limited” gains have been made by banks with the highest levels of customer satisfaction. It said this was “not what would normally be expected in well-functioning competitive markets”.

CMA chief executive Alex Chisholm is quoted by the Telegraph:
 "Our studies have found that, despite some positive developments, significant competition concerns remain which mean that customers may not be getting consistently good service and value from their banks. 

Our provisional view is that a full market investigation by an independent expert CMA group is necessary to look at this market in detail and identify appropriate measures if competition concerns are found. 

However we very much welcome views, which we will carefully consider, before taking a final decision."
A full investigation, if it occurs, would take about 18 months.

Doubtless the vested interests will ensure that nothing concrete or radical happens if an inquiry ever gets off the ground.

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