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UK: Could the CMA end dominance of Britain’s big banks?

 |  October 15, 2015

Britain’s big banks will find out whether they have escaped the threat of being broken up when the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) presents its findings on the industry following an 18 month investigation.

The review by the competition watchdog was launched in July 2013 and has looked at the £10 billion a year personal current account and small business banking markets. These areas are dominated by the big four of Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Barclays.

The provisional findings will be published next week on 22 October, and come amid calls from smaller banks trying to challenge the dominance of the big four for measures to make it easier for customers to move accounts and to compare accounts on offer.

The CMA has looked at whether free in-credit banking is made possible by cross-subsidies and makes it difficult to compare accounts. The watchdog could demand more price transparency but also has powers to demand structural changes, such as breaking up a bank.

Paul Pester, boss of TSB, said: “Banking needs to be exposed to the full force of competition. Only then will consumers really start to see change in an industry that has been stacked against them for far too long.”

Full content: Reuters

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