The new competition watchdog will release the outcome of an initial study into the banking sector tomorrow, prompting speculation about a full-blown investigation into the industry.
The Competition and Markets Authority has been conducting two studies in banking during a heightened political focus on the 80% market share of the big four -
Since April the CMA has been scrutinising competition for personal current accounts and the market for small business banking. A provisional decision on whether to conduct an investigation is expected on Friday, though a final decision is not due until the autumn.
The banks have already given "undertakings" about their approach to small business customers following a review of the industry in 2002. In the personal current account market, the big banks are hoping a new switching service, promising to move accounts in seven days, will demonstrate competition is improving.
The service was set up on the recommendation of Sir
The payments council, which is overseeing the switching service, yesterday said there had been a 16% year-on-year rise in switching with nearly 600,000 customers moving accounts.
Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the
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