Free banking braced for CMA findings
The Big Four banks of the UK's high street (that'd be Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, and Royal Bank of Scotland) are readying themselves for the findings of the competition watchdog, who are looking to set out a number of measures which will make it much easier for customers to switch their accounts.
This follows an 18 month review of the banking industry, which will be published this week.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are going to announce their preliminary findings on the current account (and small businesses) market on Thursday, seeing if free banking actually works in favour of customers or not.
Now, if they decide to do so, the CMA could break these banks up, which could happen, given that the Big Four currently have 77% of the UK's current accounts, and 85% of small business accounts. The CMA have been looking at how difficult it is for other firms to get in on the act, and compete with the big guns.
They've also been looking at how difficult it is for customers to see the true cost of banking with certain institutions. This is something of a buzzword in the market at the moment, with TSB (an offshoot of Lloyds) saying that banks should be forced to explicitly say how much customers are paying each month, for their banking.
So, more transparency, costs that are easy to understand, and a reduction of the difficulty that customers have when moving current accounts with overdrafts - it will all be in there. Squeaky bum time for the banks; potentially great news for the rest of us.