At the Global Competition Review’s ‘GCR Live: Financial Services and Competition Law’ conference in London, Clive Maxwell (the new Chief Executive of the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT)) reiterated his predecessor’s opinion that competition in the banking sector over the last decade, since the 2000 Cruickshank Report showing a highly concentrated market, has shown minimal signs of improving.  Maxwell said the OFT will continue to encourage the banks to promote cost transparency and make it easier for consumers to switch their accounts, but if such changes are not implemented by 2015 a reference to the Competition Commission would be considered.  Despite Maxwell’s threat, critics say that a recently released White Paper outlining the government’s banking reform plans shows that any breakup of the big UK banks is “off the agenda”.