Britain launches probe into British bank competition
Britain's main banks, including HSBC and Barclays, will face a formal investigation into their dominance of services offered to individuals and businesses, the country's competition watchdog announced Thursday.
"After carefully considering the consultation responses, most of which supported a market investigation, we remain of the view that there should be a full market investigation into the sector," said Alex Chisholm, chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
"Effective competition in retail banking is critically important for individual bank customers, small and medium-sized businesses, and the wider economy," he added in a statement.
Britain's bailed-out lenders Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group will also be investigated, which together with HSBC and Barclays form the country's biggest banks.
The CMA noted "very little movement over time in the market shares of the four largest banks, which provide over three-quarters of personal and business current accounts".
© 2014 AFP