OFT embarks on SME banking study
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is undertaking a market study on competition in banking for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and is seeking views on its scope.
The study will cover England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and in particular, the watchdog is seeking views on:
- competition in the supply of banking services to SMEs – whether SMEs have access to services that meet their needs and represent good value
- competition in the supply of lending or other finance to SMEs – such as whether any lack of competition between banks is holding back SME lending or other finance to SMEs
- whether there are types of SME (for example, start-ups or small financial firms) that face particular difficulties, and if so why
Clive Maxwell, OFT chief executive, comments: “Our review of SME banking is part of an ongoing planned programme of work in this area to allow the Competition and Markets Authority to decide whether or not to make a market investigation reference by 2015.”