Entire wholesale banking sector faces probe for unfair behaviour

Tim Wallace
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Every aspect of the wholesale banking market faces a new round of scrutiny, the City watchdog warned yesterday.

From corporate banking to asset management, and investment banking to market infrastructure, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is appealing for complaints over a lack of competition.

It is gathering evidence over the next three months to see which areas it should look into more thoroughly.

The review comes after chancellor George Osborne last month announced plans for a competition and fairness study, in the wake of scandals from Libor fiddling to gold price manipulation, by groups of colluding bankers.

But lawyers warned the FCA may be taking on too much work in an intense flurry of activity in recent months.

“The new competition folk at FCA seem to be on steroids,” said Paul Edmondson from CMS. “On Tuesday it was the cash savings market and yesterday it is wholesale markets such as investment banking and asset management. This is another addition to the regulator’s growing shopping list in areas such as insurance and credit cards.”

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