Competition and Markets Authority delays key retail banking probe

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A long-awaited report into the retail banking industry has been delayed by the Competition and Markets Authority to give it more time to decide what measures it might take.

The three-month delay will push the investigation into its fourth year with a  final deadline now set for August. Details of the watchdog’s planned remedies, which had been due last month, will not be published until May. 

The CMA’s investigations are being closely watched by lenders with challenger banks, in particular, looking for proposals which might make it easier for them to win business away from the older established Big Five. 

Today the regulator published a number of possible recommendations. 

It has been focusing especially on unauthorised overdrafts, suggesting banks could do more to warn people they are about to go overdrawn — by text for example — and capping the associated costs.

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at, said: “This isn’t the first time we have seen deadlines slip on a major CMA investigation. Though it’s disappointing, it’s important that they deliver the right remedies for a market in desperate need of increased competition.”

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March 8, 2016 |
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