The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published market studies in relation to the provision of personal current accounts (PCAs) and the provision of banking services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK.

The main concerns that the CMA found were:

  • persistence of high levels of concentration and relatively stable market shares;
  • existence of significant barriers to entry and expansion; and
  • existence of a ‘sticky’ market, with customer inertia indicated by low rates of switching and limited shopping around, all of which are closely interrelated and mutually reinforce one another, resulting in competition being more limited than it would otherwise be.

The CMA invites comments on its provisional decision to make a market investigation reference in relation to SME banking sector by 17 September 2014. It will publish its decision in autumn 2014.

As part of the SME banking report, the CMA also invites comments on the recent account switching process changes by 17 September 2014.

View Personal current accounts and SME banking, 18 July 2014