Competition and Choice in the Retail Banking Sector - further information

Background to inquiry

The financial crisis had a major impact on the shape of the banking sector. There had been widespread consolidation among banks and building societies. Concerns had been raised that competition in the sector is not working, with investigations by the Office of Fair Trading into unauthorised overdraft charges and equity underwriting. The Government had also appointed an Independent Commission on Banking.

This major inquiry into Competition and choice in the retail banking sector built on work done by the Committee in the previous Parliament on the banking crisis, the structure of the banking industry, and consumer issues.

In its Report the Committee highlighted in particular a lack of price transparency and comparability in the personal current account market, as well as the difficulty of switching. The report called on the Government to make competition a primary objective of the new regulatory body, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It also recommended a "public interest test" based on competition considerations for proposed future divestments of Government-held stakes in the banks.

Report and Government Response

The Report was published on 2 April 2011. The Government Response was published on 12 July 2011.

Written evidence

Written evidence from oral witnesses is published with the Report. Additional written evidence is published separately.

  • Additional written evidence (PDF version)
  • Additional written evidence (HTML version)

    Oral evidence

    The transcripts of the sessions listed below are published with the Report.

    Thursday 18 November

    Witnesses: Mr Adam Phillips, Chairman of Financial Services Consumer Panel, Mr Peter Vicary-Smith, Mr Dominic Lindley, Mr Philip Cullum and Ms Sarah Brooks.

    Tuesday 23 November

    Witnesses: Lord Turner of Ecchinswell, Chairman, and Mr Hector Sants, Chief Executive, Financial Services Authority.

    Tuesday 30 November

    Witness: Sir Donald Cruickshank.

    Tuesday 7 December

    Witnesses: Eric Daniels, Group Chief Executive, Helen Weir, Group Executive Director, and Patrick Foley, Chief Economist, Lloyds Banking Group: Stephen Hester, Chief Executive, RBS Group and Brian Hartzer, Chief Executive, UK Retail, Wealth & Ulster, RBS Group; and Benny Higgins, Chief Executive, Tesco Bank.

    Tuesday 14 December

    Witnesses: Vernon W Hill II, Vice Chairman, Metro Bank, and Anthony Thomson, Chairman, Metro Bank.

    Tuesday 11 January

    Witnesses: Bob Diamond, Chief Executive and Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive Global Retail Banking, Barclays Plc.

    Tuesday 18 January

    Witnesses: Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Chief Executive, Virgin Money; Ana Botin, Chief Executive, Santander UK

    Thursday 20 January

    Witnesses: John Fingleton, Chief Executive, and Clive Maxwell, Executive Director, Office of Fair Trading

    Tuesday 1 February

    Witnesses: Douglas Flint, Group Chairman, and Joe Garner, Deputy Chief Executive UK HSBC plc; Neville Richardson, Chief Executive, and Rod Bulmer, Managing Director, Retail, The Co-operative Financial Services; Graham Beale, Chief Executive, Chris Rhodes, Executive Director, Group Product and Marketing, Nationwide

    Wednesday 2 February

    Witnesses: Mark Hoban MP, Financial Secretary, and Alison Cottrell, Director, Financial Services, HM Treasury

    Call for evidence

  • Terms of reference