MPs warn breaking up banks may be best for competition

Caitlin Morrison
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BREAKING up the banks is one of the remedies for a lack of competition in the market, MPs on the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) have suggested.

“Millions of consumers and small businesses have been getting a poor deal for decades because of a lack of effective competition and genuine choice in banking,” the committee said in a report on the sector published yesterday.

The TSC also said that measures taken so far by the competition authorities and the government have not sufficiently improved the competitive environment.

In November last year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it would undertake an investigation of the inadequate competition in the banking market. The committee warned that while “most previous efforts ended up in the long grass”, it is crucial that the CMA’s study does not meet the same fate.

The TSC has recommended that the CMA look at “whether structural reforms may remain essential to secure a reduction in concentration in the market”.