CMA has published its provisional decision on remedies, outlining a wide-ranging package of proposals to tackle the issues hindering competition in personal current accounts (PCA) and in banking services for SMEs. CMA considered a requirement to break up big banks, but said this would not help the underlying competition issues, which arise because customers do not have information that enables them to understand which is the best account for them. It also considered whether to ban “free if in credit” accounts – on the grounds that they are not in fact free to most of the customers who use them – but again decided against this. Instead, the proposals focus on ways in which information can be given more clearly to customers, and the use of online and other tools to enable customers to compare providers and products more easily, including requiring banks to introduce an interface so customers can allow their personal information to generate accurate comparisons with other products. The proposals also include requiring banks to set a monthly maximum charge for unarranged overdrafts on PCAs. Regarding SMEs, it is hoped that the culmination of proposals will make it easier for SMEs to shop around and thus reduce business owners’ reliance on their personal bank when choosing a bank for their business. (Source: CMA publishes provisional decision on remedies)