Commenting on the Competition and Markets Authority’s provisional decision on remedies (PDR) in the retail banking market, Dr Adam Marshall, Acting Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“Businesses will welcome some of the CMA’s plans to boost competition in the retail banking market, notably measures that help firms compare the services available to them. The CMA’s endorsement of Business Banking Insight, which enables SMEs to compare the quality of service experienced by their peers, is important because it empowers business customers to make better choices by putting more information directly in their hands.
“Overall, however, the CMA remains in danger of passing up a golden opportunity to deliver more fundamental changes to the business finance market.
“Firms across the UK still tell us they believe that there are deep-rooted problems in SME finance. Many will feel that the CMA’s overall package of remedies only incrementally shifts the status quo. Many business people would have liked to see further remedies to promote competition, and a call for government to strengthen the British Business Bank to work directly with companies in the area of long-term patient finance.
“The drive for more competition and choice in business finance must continue. Business wants both the CMA and the government to keep a close eye on the business finance market, and to act when strong firms say they cannot access the funds they need to grow.
“SMEs will also want to see very clear safeguards around the sharing of data by finance providers, and the CMA must ensure that these safeguards are in place for the long term.”