How the big high street banks responded to the CMA report

Hayley Kirton
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Shoppers walk past a Royal Bank of Scotl
RBS welcomed the possibility of a more open playing field (Source: Getty)

There's been a lot of noise in the banking sector this morning, as people try to digest the recommendations laid out in the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) final report from its retail banking investigation.

Among the most eye-catching announcements was that of the Open Banking programme, which will enable personal and small business customers to share their data across banks and other third parties, but there were also plans to revamp the Current Account Switching Service, improve banking for SMEs and change the rules around overdrafts.

A Barclays spokesperson noted the bank was "supportive of measures to help consumers and SMEs", and added: "The remedies within the CMA report are substantial and comprehensive, with considerable potential to transform the market."

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An RBS spokesperson welcomed the possibility of a more open playing field, adding the report's "remedies could have a substantial and positive impact, by empowering consumers through increased transparency and ease of switching."

Meanwhile, HSBC revealed that, in some ways, it was already prepared for today's announcement.

"The CMA's remedies focus on various ways to enhance personal and business customers’ choice of banking products, reflecting a number of initiatives already implemented by HSBC," read the banking giant's statement. "These include a grace period to help customers avoid a fee on unarranged overdrafts and a cap on monthly unarranged overdraft fees."

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However, not everybody is pleased with today's report, least of all many of the so-called challenger banks. Aldermore chief executive Phillip Monks said "the CMA has missed a huge opportunity", while Metro Bank's Craig Donaldson was "astonished" the report didn't do more to examine the capital requirement faced by the up and coming lenders.

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