UK banks face full CMA competition probe

Frances colour

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recommended a full competition inquiry into banks.

The provisional decision, recommends a full-scale inquiry into the banking sector including the provision of current accounts and business lending.

The biggest four High Street banks provide 77% of current accounts; with Santander dominating the market.

The process will start with a consultation with the banking industry that will last until the 17 September.

The CMA’s chief executive, Alex Chisholm, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme it was “vital” that the banking sector worked properly, which was why the full eighteen month investigation was being proposed.

“Retail banking is worth a lot of money to the banks – £10bn a year – but also every customer in the country has an account, almost every business and every household,” he said.

We are suggesting there’s not enough rivalry there… to serve the customer”

“At the moment they [the banks] don’t seem to be doing a good job of satisfying their customers, there are a lot of under-satisfied customers out there, small businesses are saying they are not happy with the choices they face and the services they are getting, and in the personal market as well, the big [five] banks, the satisfaction rating is below 60%,” he added.

“We are suggesting there’s not enough rivalry there to be really falling over themselves to serve the customer, [to] come up with new innovations and come up with the best value and best service they can provide,” Mr Chisholm argued.