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UK: Bank probe threatens permanent changes to industry

 |  July 18, 2014

As the Competition and Markets Authority confirmed earlier reports that it will launch a full-scale investigation into the UK’s banking industry, industry experts say the investigation could permanently overhaul the way consumers do their banking in Britain.

While the probe will examine the dominance of the UK’s five largest banks – Lloyds, Barclays, RBS, HSBC and Santander – and could lead to a breakup of the main players, reports note that the investigation could also lead to other major changes.

The CMA is also investigating fees charged by banks and their effect on competition. The regulator has reportedly suggested that removing the option of “free if in credit models” banking could lead to heightened transparency, meaning free banking would no longer exist.

Further, reports say, the probe could facilitate access to bank records to facilitate switching, and could bring the axe down on overdraft fees.

The CMA confirmed Friday that it will launch the investigation after preliminary inquiries into the industry found reason to believe consumers were are being harmed by a lack of competition.

Full content: The Telegraph

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