Britain's competition watchdog has published its final recommendations for boosting competition in retail banking by 2018, relying on ''revolutionary'' technology to increase choice, As Julian Satterthwaite reports, it's dismayed consumer groups who wanted faster action.
The UK's competition watchdog is calling for a banking revolution. Regulators setting out proposals to boost competition and cut costs for consumers. Lenders will be obliged to cap fees for unarranged overdrafts. They'll also be required to develop better apps that allow customers to compare and switch accounts. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARKET STRATEGIST, BGC PARTNERS, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "Many consumer simply don't take advantage of it, it's something you just think I'll get around to doing that, I'll get around to reviewing my financial arrangements, but they never do it. You find it with electricity, you find it with gas," The Competition and Markets Authority says larger banks don't have to compete hard enough for customers. It says that allows them to charge unnecessarily high fees. But Tuesday's proposals are little changed from draft measures published in May. And consumer groups had been hoping for something more radical: (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REGULATION CORRESPONDENT, HUW JONES, SAYING: "ie, breaking up the banks or the regulator setting the cap on overdraft charges, not the banks. That's not happened. The CMA has stood its ground. It's saying that what they're putting in place may be a bit of a slow burn, in their own words, but in the longer term it will be more revolutionary." The proposals also disappointing would-be challengers. Firms like Virgin Money, Aldermore and Metro Bank trying to poach customers from the big names. That could still be an up hill battle.