The competition watchdog has rebuked Lloyds and Barclays today for breaking open banking rules by sharing inaccurate information on the products and services, claiming that both lenders were potentially misleading customers.
In two open letters, the CMA said both lenders breached the rules double-digit times by providing the wrong details across areas including transaction fees and overdraft fees.
The rules were introduced by the CMA to drive innovation and competition in banking by freeing up data sharing with third party financial services providers, including fintech firms.
But the watchdog said that Barclays had breached the rules 13 times, while Lloyds broke them 10, with the breaches potentially leading consumers into wrong financial decisions.
“Failure to make continuously available accurate, comprehensive and up to date information on products and services can mean that consumers take wrong decisions and they may therefore choose financial products or services which are not best suited to their needs,” the watchdog said in the letters today.
Both banks argue that the correct information was available elsewhere, the CMA said, but this did not detract from their duty to provide accurate information to consumers.
“The CMA considers that consumers should be able to rely on the accuracy of information provided by banks irrespective of how that information is provided and that banks should be capable of providing accurate, comprehensive and up to date information through all channels and to all consumers, without exception,” the letter said.
Despite the breaches, the CMA said it would not be pursuing further action against the firms due to “comprehensive” steps taken by both firms to address the issues.