Citywire for Financial Professionals
Stay connected:

View the article online at

Current account market scrutinised amid competition concerns

The OFT wants to know what improvements the banks have made for customers since its previous report in 2008.

Current account market scrutinised amid competition concerns

The current account market is to be reviewed amid concerns that bank customers are losing out because of a lack of effective competition and customer focus.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said it will look at what progress the banks have made since its report in 2008, assessing whether they have successfully improved their switching processes, increased transparency around account charges, and helped people to manage their accounts more effectively.

Over the next two years the OFT said it also intends to consider the way customers make decisions and engage with retail banking services, look at how payment systems work, and assess the banking market for small and medium-sized businesses.

The Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) said in September that the OFT should refer the banks to the Competition Commission by 2015 if sufficient improvements have not been made. The OFT said the review will help it respond to this recommendation.

Claire Hart, OFT director, said the regulator is ‘concerned that a lack of effective competition means the retail banking sector is not working in the interest of customers and businesses’.

‘We want to see banks become more customer-focused and this will be the central theme of our programme of work,’ she said.

Consumer groups have welcomed the investigation.

‘We’ve long held concerns that low levels of switching in financial services is a symptom of a sector which isn’t as competitive as it should be,' said Adam Scorer, director of external affairs at Consumer Focus.

‘Mis-selling, unfair charges, high levels of complaints, opaque products with complex terms and conditions, and a sector dominated by a handful of big banks and building societies are also signs that customers are not being well served,’ he added.

The OFT said it expects to publish its findings by the end of this year.

leave a comment

Please sign in here or register here to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

News sponsored by:

Sponsored Video: The sterling slump: what’s next?

After Boris announced he was backing Brexit, sterling suffered its biggest slump in six years. Our Market Mavens discuss. Follow the Market Mavens LinkedIn page for weekly videos, in which our panel of industry experts share their views on financial news

The Citywire guide to investment trusts

In association with Aberdeen Asset Management

Today's articles

Tools from Citywire Money

From the Forums

+ Start a new discussion

Weekly email from The Lolly

Get simple, easy ways to make more from your money. Just enter your email address below

An error occured while subscribing your email. Please try again later.

Thank you for registering for your weekly newsletter from The Lolly.

Keep an eye out for us in your inbox, and please add to your safe senders list so we don't get junked.


Investment Trust Watch: Europe sell-off reignites

by Daniel Grote on May 27, 2016 at 12:48

Sorry, this link is not
quite ready yet