Hint at end to free banking?

Laura Kuenssberg

Former Business Editor

FSA chairman, Lord Turner, gave a speech about the future of banking today

A few months ago, an influential figure at the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, suggested that free banking was a "dangerous myth".

In a different part of his speech this morning, Lord Turner, the head of the FSA, appeared to agree, and suggested that free bank accounts for you and me were actually a problem.

He said:

One important barrier to competitive entry into the UK personal sector banking is obvious – the fact that the core product, the current account, is usually given away for free, sold at below cost of production. Which means that it may be difficult for a new entrant to make a business plan stack up.

In short, because many UK consumers expect free bank accounts, the banks have to make money elsewhere and that sometimes leads to banks behaving badly.

Expect consumer groups to be less than pleased.