Banking industry could face full competition inquiry

Britain's competition watchdog is consulting on plans to launch an in-depth investigation into personal current accounts and small business banking.

Personal current accounts and business lending are set to be part of the probe after the Competition and Markets Authority said it had "significant competition concerns" about the industry.

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All banks 'to fully co-operate with review'

The British Bankers Association said it welcomed the investigation into personal current accounts and small business banking by the competition commission, and that all banks would fully co-operate.

rAll the banks will co-operate fully with this review and any subsequent investigation. There are substantial changes currently underway across the banking industry to strengthen competition - which improves choice and service for customers.

Banks are pro-competition - they compete for customers every day. Last month we published a series of ideas to help new banks set up and smaller players to grow. We hope these suggestions will be taken up by regulators and politicians.

– Anthony Browne, BBA chief executive

Labour welcomes banking competition probe

Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls has welcomed the competition watchdog's call for an investigation into personal current accounts and small business banking.

Ministers claim there is no problem to solve, but everyone else recognises that we have a lack of competition in our banking sector.

As we said earlier this year, in the next parliament we need to see at least two new challenger banks and a market share test to ensure the market stays competitive for the long term.

– Ed Balls, Labour's Shadow Chancellor

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'Significant competition concerns' in banking sector

The Competition and Markets Authority has taken the "provisional view" that a full market investigation is required into the banking sector after it outlined "significant competition concerns" in the industry.

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.

– Alex Chisholm, CMA Chief Executive

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