Following the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) final report on its investigation on the supply of retail banking services to personal current account (PCA) customers and to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the CMA has now published its timetable for the implementation of the remedies set out in the report.
The CMA’s package of remedies comprises three "foundation measures":
- The development of an open banking standard.
- Publication of service quality information.
- Introduction of customer prompts to review their banking arrangements.
The CMA also decided on measures to improve the switching process, mainly through reforms to the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), measures to help PCA overdraft users, particularly the introduction of a monthly maximum charge to be set by the banks and customer prompts, and measures targeted at the specific problems in SME banking, including the development of a new comparison tool and greater transparency of terms.
The remedial measures will be implemented by orders, undertakings to be given by Bacs (in relation to the CASS) and recommendations to the FCA and HM Treasury.
The statutory deadline for implementing remedial action is 8 February 2017. The CMA intends to publish informal consultations on draft undertakings and orders between now and November 2016. Formal consultations will take place in November/December 2016.