UK’s Financial Conduct Authority calls for current account competition
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says it will take action to improve competition in the current account market.
This follows a series of recommendations which were proposed by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as part of its investigation into retail banking.
Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, says it want to help customers and small businesses to “take more control of their finances”.
Woolard adds that there will be a “particular focus” planned on high-cost credit including overdrafts and it will be looking at wider retail banking business models.
The CMA recommended that the FCA research, test and implement measures to increase consumers’ engagement with their overdraft use and charges, and the FCA will take action in response. The FCA will also consider the need for rules concerning the proposed monthly maximum charge (MMC) and will begin to collect data in 2017 to do this.
The FCA says it welcomes the introduction of the Open Banking standard and will take forward the other recommendations from the CMA, which includes acting as an observer on the Open Banking steering group. As Banking Technology reported in August, the CMA was pushing for an Open Banking revolution.
Looking “beyond current accounts”, the FCA says it is “continuing to consider the competition and conduct implications of the business model links between current accounts and other retail banking products”.
By the way, on 1 November, the FCA expressed another call for action. It said it wants more access to financial services and for fintech to show a greater understanding of the nation’s ageing population.
Lots of talk at the moment from the FCA, so the results will, hopefully, be worth the wait.