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UK: As expected, CMA launches large-scale banking probe

 |  November 6, 2014

The Competition and Markets Authority confirmed Thursday that it has launched a full-scale investigation into the state of competition in the banking industry.

The market, largely controlled by four major banks, has fallen under scrutiny by regulators in recent months and years. Most recently, concern was raised over banks’ practice of tying bank accounts to small business loans.

In a statement Thursday, the CMA said that the four leading banks – Lloyds, Barclays, RBS and HSBC – have failed to address the needs of retail customers and small businesses, including facilitating the switching of banks or increasing transparency on fees.

Reports say the CMA will likely be investigating the industry until May 2016; authorities first announced in July that it was considering a full-scale probe.

The investigation, though expected, has not emerged without controversy. Earlier this week officials from top banks warned regulators against a forced breakup of the Big Four.

Full content: Reuters

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