CCNI welcomes the CMA’s decision to fully investigate the Personal Current Account market

in Money Affairs

The Consumer Council today welcomed the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) decision to launch a full market investigation into the Personal Current Account (PCA) Market.

Aodhan O’Donnell, Interim Chief Executive of the Consumer Council said “We hope this investigation will lead to a much needed overhaul of the PCA system, particularly in NI where consumers have less choice than other areas of the UK. We want this investigation to ensure the banks work harder to secure and retain customer confidence.

“Despite the Payments Council launching the ’seven-day switching guarantee’ last September[1], consumers tell us that they don’t believe there is any reason to switch bank accounts.  It is clear from the CMA that this industry measure alone has not done enough to boost competition”.

“The CMA findings show NI consumers are right in thinking there is little difference in the PCA market, in terms of the products they offer.  Northern Ireland’s ‘Big Four’ banks offer consumers current accounts with marginal or zero interest on credit balances and the mix of charges across accounts is very complex – making it difficult to compare products”.

Aodhan concluded “The Consumer Council will continue to represent the views of Northern Ireland banking consumers by cooperating fully and submitting evidence from our research to the investigation”.

The Consumer Council has developed a ‘Switching Bank Account’ factsheet, which is available to download from the Consumer Council’s website www.consumercouncil.org.uk/publications or by contacting the Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022.

[1] http://www.consumercouncil.org.uk/news/consumer-council-welcomes-new-current-account-switching-service-guarantee/

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