OFT emerges from shell to poke around in banks' current account market...

banks The Office of Fair Trading is keeping itself busy and is about to start looking at the wholesome, clean-living banks and their current account market, in the light of some concerns about lack of transparency and competition.

Those pesky banks had better sit up and pay attention too, as the OFT is promising ‘radical’ action if it looks as though the consumer is being lied to, double-crossed and arsed about with.

The main beef of the OFT is that switching accounts needs to be made easier and that the banks have to be more transparent over fees and charges. The announcement of the investigation follows up the announcement that it was going to happen – an announcement that was made back in 2010. The OFT don’t mess about, do they?

It follows on from an OFT report in 2008 which found a "complexity and lack of control" over unarranged overdraft charges, low levels of transparency of charges and other costs, and problems with switching providers. If they find things that dissatisfy them, the OFT can kick the whole thing up to the Competition Commission and something could theoretically be done by, say, 2015.

What do you think?

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