Miliband to call for limit on banks' market share

The Labour leader Ed Miliband is to propose a cap on the share of the market for high street banks. Under the move, the party could force some of the "big five" banks to sell more branches to smaller firms.

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Labour plans 'to refer banks to competition authorities'

Labour plans to refer high street banks to the competition authorities immediately if elected in 2015, the party leader is expected to say in a speech on banking reform.

Labour party leader Ed Miliband. Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Guardian reports that Ed Miliband will say in a speech on Friday that he wants the proposed review by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to complete within a year of the election, and anticipates it could lead to a breakup of the larger high street banks, such as RBS or Lloyds.

Mr Miliband is expected to argue that greater competition in financial services is central to restoring Britain's long-term economic prosperity and providing consumer choice.


Ed Miliband to call for 'Big Five' banks to sell branches

The five biggest banks in the UK dominate the domestic market, with an 87% market share between them in 2012, according to Mintel data reported in the Financial Times.

In a speech this Friday, Ed Miliband is expected to call for them to sell off some branches to increase competition in the industry.

The 'Big Five' and their subsidiaries:

  • HSBC - includes First Direct, M&S bank
  • Barclays - includes Woolwich
  • RBS - includes NatWest and Ulster Bank
  • Lloyds - includes Halifax, Bank of Scotland, HBOS, TSB
  • Santander - includes Abbey, Bradford & Bingley, Alliance and Leicester

Conservatives: Miliband's Labour caused bank problem

In response to Ed Miliband's expected call to cap the size of UK banks in a speech this Friday, the Conservatives said the domination of the big five banks is "another problem" created by the Labour Government that Miliband 'was at the heart of'.

Labour's failure to regulate the financial system led to the worst banking crash in our history, causing the worst recession in a century.

...That's why part of David Cameron's long-term economic plan is about fixing our banking system - by increasing competition on the high street, ring fencing retail from investment banking so that no bank is too big to fail, and increasing lending to business.

There is already greater choice on the high street now than there was under Labour.

– Conservative Spokesman

Umunna: Need more competition in banking sector

The shadow business secretary Chuka Umuunna has confirmed the reports that Labour is to call for a cap on the size of British banks in an attempt to increase competition in the domestic market:


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